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Pinterest Lens update keeps inspiration flowing beyond the first search

Pinterest is making visual searches faster — with results that stick around to generate even more ideas. On Tuesday, September 17, Pinterest launched a revamped Lens, speeding up the process of using the visual search while adding the ability to save those searches to your Boards.

Accessing the visual search takes fewer taps with the latest update. Pinterest says both snapping a photo in the app or uploading a photo you’ve already taken is faster and easier with the new design.

Those photos — whether snapped in-app or saved to the camera roll — can now be easily added to a Board. While Lens was always designed to find new Pins to save, the update allows users to add their original inspiration to the board. Pinterest says those user-shot photos will also allow the platform’s algorithms to suggest similar Pins, effectively influencing future Pins beyond the initial Lens search.

The update also brings Product Pins directly into the Lens search results. Unlike regular Pins, these include the price and availability details on the Pin itself. Pinterest says the update makes it easier to purchase items similar to the photo that you snap for Lens — helpful since a recent survey suggests 80% of users start the visual search while shopping.

The company’s camera-centric search can now recognize more than 2.5 billion different objects in the home and fashion categories, Pinterest says. Designed to search for items where the right words are difficult to find or time-consuming, the company says that visual search will continue to be a focus for future updates. More than 85% of the users surveyed suggested that visual information was more important than text.

More than half of users said that visual searches helped develop their style, while almost half said they had a better relationship with brands when using visual search. About 60% said they use the tool while shopping in-store.

The updates follow several visual search and shopping-focused updates for the social media platform. Recent updates overhauled (and renamed) Product Pins, and added personalized shopping recommendations, while Lens has seen several updates expanding what the visual search tool recognizes.

The updates are rolling out now to Android, with an iOS version expected to follow in the next few weeks.

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