Pinterest implements ‘visual search’ tech to intelligently locate similar images

intelligent visual search feature pinterest
Pinterest is known by its distinctive characteristic – an images-only approach to social media. The site has quickly grown in popularity over the last few years, today boasting close to 50 million monthly active users in the U.S. But Pinterest’s founders want to take its visuals-based experience and make it more meaningful for its users, which is why the company has big plans to use a new visual search feature its engineers have just developed, according to Venture Beat. Visual search locates and then displays images that are visually similar, helping users to better discover new content. Later in 2015, look for a new feature on the site called Similar Looks, which will be based on this new technology.

Where it gets really interesting is what powers visual search. Visual search is driven by something called deep learning, a form of artificial intelligence that’s getting wider use. It “trains” artificial neural networks – think of them as the computer systems behind interfaces – by providing them with a lot of data. Then, it gets inferences in reply to this new data.

Quoted in Venture Beat, Pinterest’s visual discovery head, Kevin Jing, explained that the company’s making a real effort to understand what its users really want when they’re perusing the site’s card-based interface. Deep learning and visual search can help its engineers determine exactly what’s in an image, and the company wants to use that information wisely once it’s been extracted.

Last week, the company published a post on its blog that detailed this breakthrough as well as future plans to present a paper about this research, which it presented at Sydney’s yearly ACM SIGKDD Conference on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining.

But, there’s also another motive for the company: Visual search may help it bring in more revenue. Since its system is now capable of finding and displaying similar images, that should also translate to showing users relevant ads more intelligently.

Currently, Pinterest ranks 37 globally and 16 in the U.S., according to analytics company Alexa. It’ll be interesting to see what effect visual search’s improved user experience has on traffic to the site as well.

Mobile

Google replaces its classic Search page with Discover on mobile devices

As part of its 20th anniversary, Google unveiled its plans to improve Search, starting with its Google Feed. Now known as Discover, the update brings along a redesign to help you find content that aligns with your interests.
Mobile

5G version of upcoming Galaxy S10 may feature 6.7-inch display, six cameras

While we still may be months away from an announcement, there's no doubt about it: Samsung is working hard on its successor to the Galaxy S9. Here's everything we know about the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S10.
Mobile

Selfie-mad Meitu phones are now made by Xiaomi, may be sold globally

Meitu, a Chinese brand best known for its selfie and beautification software, has handed over its smartphone business to Xiaomi. The company now has the global license to produce phones using the Meitu name.
Gaming

These are the best Xbox One games available right now

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.
Smart Home

Facebook's Alexa-enabled video-calling devices begin shipping

Facebook's Portal devices are video smart speakers with Alexa voice assistants built in that allow you to make calls. The 15-inch Portal+ model features a pivoting camera that follows you around the room as you speak.
Social Media

Vine fans, your favorite video-looping app is coming back as Byte

Vine fans were left disappointed in 2017 when its owner, Twitter, pulled the plug on the video-looping app. But now one of its co-founders has promised that a new version of the app, called Byte, is coming soon.
News

Social media use increases depression and anxiety, experiment shows

A study has shown for the first time a causal link between social media use and lower rates of well-being. Students who limited their social media usage to 30 minutes a day showed significant decreases in anxiety and fear of missing out.
Social Media

Twitter boss hints that an edit button for tweets may finally be on its way

Twitter has been talking for years about launching an edit button for tweets, but it still hasn't landed. This week, company boss Jack Dorsey addressed the matter again, describing a quick-edit button as "achievable."
Social Media

‘Superwoman’ YouTuber Lilly Singh taking a break for her mental health

Claiming to be "mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted," popular YouTuber Lilly Singh has told her millions of fans she's taking a break from making videos in order to recuperate.
Social Media

Facebook is rolling out a Messenger ‘unsend’ feature, and here’s how to use it

Facebook is starting to roll out a "remove message" feature for its Messenger app. It lets you delete a message in a thread within 10 minutes of sending it, and replaces it with a note telling recipients that it's been removed.
Social Media

Going incognito: Here's how to appear offline on Facebook

How do you make sure your friends and family can't see if you're on Facebook, even if you are? Here, we'll show you how to turn off your active status on three different platforms, so you can browse Facebook without anyone knowing.
Social Media

Build a wish list and shop videos with Instagram’s latest shopping update

Eyeing a product on Instagram? Now there are more ways to shop from the social network. Instagram just rolled out options to save products in a collection as users can also now shop from videos.
Social Media

Addicted to Instagram? Its new ‘activity dashboard’ is here to help

Ever get that nagging feeling you're spending too much time on Instagram? Well, a new "activity dashboard" has a bunch of features designed to help you better control how you use the addictive photo-sharing app.
Product Review

It's not a spy, but you still won't want to friend Facebook's Portal+

Facebook has jumped into the smart home game with the Portal+, a video-calling device featuring an Amazon Alexa speaker and a screen. While it has lots of cool calling features, we’re weary of Facebook taking up counter space in our home.