Pinterest Launches ‘Lens’ and ‘Instant Ideas’ Visual Discovery Tools

Pinterest makes it easy to run down a rabbit hole of content, from quotes, to things to buy, and more.

And now the social network wants to make it easier to keep tabs on real-world items, too. Pinterest has officially debuted “Lens,” a new “visual discovery tool.” With it, Pinterest users will be able to make a picture of an item in the real world, and then use the social network to find similar items.

Pinterest wants to make it easier to search for things. So taking a picture of a piece of furniture you might not know the name of, or clothing, or other items, can make it easier to compile similar items quickly.

“Just point Lens at a pair of shoes, then tap to see related styles or even ideas for what else to wear them with. Or try it on a table to find similar designs, and even other furniture from the same era. You can also use Lens with food. Just point it at broccoli or a pomegranate to see what recipes come up. Patterns and colors can also lead you in fun, interesting or even just plain weird new directions.

For now, Lens works best for finding home decor ideas, things to wear and food to eat. As more and more people give it a try, and we continue making improvements to our technology, results will get even better, and the range of objects Lens recognizes will get increasingly wider.”

In addition, Pinterest is also introducing “Instant Ideas.” This will let users quickly find related items from within the app, whether it’s as simple as a bathtub’s claw foot, just by tapping a circle on the idea they like:

“Not only can you find ideas using objects you see out in the world, but starting today, you can do the same thing when you’re on Pinterest with Instant Ideas. When you notice an idea that looks interesting, just tap the circle that appears on each Pin to instantly unlock related ideas. Circle a clawfoot bathtub to see similar tub ideas, or an asparagus dish for more recipes.”

Instant Idea, and another new addition, “Shop the Look” are available in the Pinterest app beginning today. Meanwhile, Lens, is currently in beta, and will rollout to all Pinterest users soon.

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[via Pinterest Blog]