Pinterest Brings Its Visual Discovery Technology to the Advertising Side

Ads using visual discovery technology will begin to appear in Related Pins and Instant Ideas immediately, with Shop the Look and Lens to follow

The technology behind the three visual discovery tools Pinterest introduced in February—Lens, Shop the Look and Instant Ideas—is now being used to help advertisers optimize their Promoted Pins.

Pinterest president Tim Kendall made the announcement at TechCrunch’s Disrupt NY 2017 event in New York Tuesday.

The social network said in an email to Social Pro Daily that in the same way the visual discovery technology is used on organic content, it recognizes characteristics within images—colors, shapes, textures—and determines which of those characteristics makes the pictured products unique.

Advertisers will reap the benefits of the addition of visual discovery technology without having to do anything, Pinterest said.

Pinterest added that ads using visual discovery technology will begin to appear in Related Pins and Instant Ideas immediately, with Shop the Look and Lens to follow, but the social network did not offer details on timing for the latter.

Umesh Unnikrishnan, who works on product for Pinterest, provided more details in a blog post:

When a potential customer spots a table they like the looks of on Pinterest, visual discovery helps us recognize the style, textures and shapes that make it unique. We can identify it as a “rectangular, mid-century modern dining table” and show similar products that match the look and feel.

We help people find your ads in the very same way, connecting people to products they like the looks of but don’t quite have the vocabulary to describe. As a result, your ads feel more relevant, and they can reach audiences you may not have considered before. And it all happens automatically. You don’t have to do a thing.

Not only does visual discovery help bring your ads to the people who want to see them most, we’ve also expanded the places your promoted content will appear. Now your Promoted Pins show up in both Instant Ideas and the related Pins in the “More like this” section under each Pin. (And in the future, Lens results.)

When something catches a Pinner’s eye in their home feed, they can discover related ideas and Promoted Pins just by tapping the Instant Ideas O. And if they’re looking at a Pin closeup, they can scroll down to discover related ideas and Promoted Pins inspired by the Pin they’re looking at.

These new placement opportunities give businesses like yours added visibility, and visual discovery makes your Pins feel more relevant. And Pinners? They see exactly the products they’re looking for. David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.