Pinterest’s Chrome extension now acts as your visual search engine for the web

pinterest visual search browser business
Pinterest is giving its Chrome browser extension an artificial intelligence upgrade.

The plug-in now comes bundled with the platform’s visual search tool, essentially allowing users to scan online images to find similar items. Best of all, the entire AI-powered process will take place on the site you’re on, meaning you don’t have to leave the web page you’re browsing to find related ideas and products.

Building upon its visual search tools, Pinterest added more complex object-recognition to create its visual discovery system. The tech doesn’t just recognize what’s in an image, but provides a diverse set of results by tapping into the 100 billion ideas housed on the platform. For example, if you take a photo of a blueberry, it will offer recipes that include the fruit, beauty ideas, and tips for growing your own blueberries.

The machine learning system currently powers recommendation and ecommerce features on the platform, including Instant Ideas and Shop the Look. It is also an integral part of Pinterest Lens (currently in beta), which lets users snap photos of objects to find similar items.

Users can access visual search for the web by downloading the Pinterest browser plug-in for Chrome. Once it’s installed, you’ll notice both the previously available save button and the new magnifying glass icon that indicates the discovery tool when you hover over an image online — clicking it will surface related items and ideas. You can also zoom in, as you would with visual search on Pinterest, to pinpoint specific objects, products, patterns or colors in the image. Additionally, to search for items pertaining to the entire web page, just right-click the background and choose “search.”

Aside from its benefits for users, expanding the tool’s reach could also help improve the machine learning system itself. The deep learning AI requires more data to help it to recognize and contextualize a wider array of images. Whereas Pinterest users have been using the tech to scan photos and objects on the site since late 2015, setting it loose on the entirety of the web will only boost its capabilities.

Pinterest visual search for the web is now available to Chrome users globally. The company promises to bring the update to its plug-ins for other browsers soon.

Social Media

No yolk! A photo of an egg has become the most-liked post on Instagram

Until this weekend, the most-liked post on Instagram was of Kylie Jenner's baby daughter, which has around 18 million likes. It's now been knocked off the top spot not by a stunning sunset or even a cute cat, but by an egg.
Computing

Need a free alternative to Adobe Illustrator? Here are our favorites

Photoshop and other commercial tools can be expensive, but drawing software doesn't need to be. This list of the best free drawing software is just as powerful as some of the more expensive offerings.
Computing

Delete tracking cookies from your system by following these quick steps

Cookies are useful when it comes to saving your login credentials and other data, but they can also be used by advertisers to track your browsing habits across multiple sites. Here's how to clear cookies in the major browsers.
Computing

Pinning websites to your taskbar is as easy as following these quick steps

Would you like to know how to pin a website to the taskbar in Windows 10 in order to use browser links like apps? Whichever browser you're using, it's easier than you might think. Here's how to get it done.
Computing

Problems with installing or updating Windows 10? Here's how to fix them

Upgrading to the newest version of Windows 10 is usually a breeze, but sometimes you run into issues. Never fear though, our guide will help you isolate the issue at hand and solve it in a timely manner.
Social Media

Invite your friends — Facebook Events can now be shared to Stories

Facebook is testing a way to make plans with friends to attend an event -- through Stories. By sharing an event in Facebook Stories, users can message other friends interested in the event to make plans to attend together.
Social Media

A quick swipe will soon let you keep bingeing YouTube on mobile devices

The YouTube mobile app has a new, faster way to browse: Swiping. Once the update rolls out, users can swipe to go to the next (or previous) video in the recommended list, even while viewing in full screen.
Photography

Starting your very own vlog? Here are the best cameras to buy

Any camera that shoots video can be used to vlog, but a few models stand out from the crowd thanks to superior image quality, ergonomics, and usability. When it comes to putting your life on YouTube, here are the best cameras for the job.
Social Media

Twitter extends its new timeline feature to Android users

Twitter users with an Android device can now quickly switch between an algorithm-generated timeline and one that shows the most recent tweets first. The new feature landed for iPhone users last month.
Social Media

YouTube to crack down on dangerous stunts like the ‘Bird Box’ challenge

YouTube already bans content showing dangerous activities, but new rules published by the site go into greater detail regarding potentially harmful challenges and pranks, including certain blindfold- or laundry detergent-based stunts.
Social Media

Nearly 75 percent of U.S. users don’t realize Facebook tracks their interests

Did you know Facebook tracks your interests, including political and multicultural affiliations? According to a recent Pew study, 74 percent of adult users in the U.S. have no idea Facebook keeps a running list of your interests.
Mobile

It’s back! Here’s how to switch to Twitter’s reverse chronological feed

Twitter has finally brought back the reverse chronological feed, allowing you to see your feed based on the newest tweets, rather than using Twitter's algorithm that shows what it thinks you want to see. It's easy to switch.
Social Media

Nearly a million Facebook users followed these fake Russian accounts

Facebook purged two separate groups behind more than 500 fake accounts with Russian ties. One group had ties to Russian news agency Sputnik, while the other had behavior similar to the Internet Research Agency's midterm actions.