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Pinterest: Custom QR Codes & More Shoppable Pins

Pinterest recently released a series of updates and new features to solidify its visual search platform. There are over 300 million visual searches performed on Pinterest every month and the company is aiming to make its visual search platform more effective. Therefore, they’ve released new features designed to make it simpler for users to search for products to purchase through the platform, like QR-like codes for brands and shoppable pins.


Custom QR Codes for Businesses

Pinterest added support for QR codes last year and now they’re rolling out they’re very own version, called Pincodes. The customized QR-like codes can be created by any business account and added anywhere, like product packaging in a retail store or on a television commercial. Once the Pinecodes are scanned using Pinterest’s in-app camera, the app will open to the business’s Pinterest profile or a specific Pinterest board it created. Home Depot, Kia, Kraft, Nordstrom, and Real Simple are some of the first brands to create their own Pincodes.

The Pincodes are represented by colorful dots in the shape of a circle surrounding a central image. Businesses can use any pin they’ve published to Pinterest as their central image. For profile-linked Pincodes, the corresponding profile picture will be used as the central image.


Shoppable Pins

Pinterest is generating more shoppable pins. Back in February 2017, they signed a deal with a search engine called ShopStytle to convert their product catalog that has over 5 million products from 25,000 brands into shoppable pins through Pinterest’s Shop the Look feature. It was created so companies can tell when a product featured in a pin is available for purchase. Consumers have the ability to tap on a dot located on top of a shoppable item to see a list including related items, as well as their corresponding items and links to buy them on the particular brand’s website. Pinterest is currently working with ShopStyle’s network of 14,000 influencers to enable them to create pins featuring Shop the Look-enabled products from ShopStyle.


Lens Your Look

The company debuted its visual search tool called Lens, so users could scan objects within images and be shown related objects on Pinterest. Now they are launching a feature called Lens Your Look that aims to improve Pinterest’s ability to show complementary accessories to complete an outfit.

After a user scans a clothing item utilizing Lens, Pinterest will search its index of 16 billion style related pins to find the ones with complete outfits that include the scanned item, or something similar. Users can also search with keywords to refine what Pinterest is searching for.


Responsive Visual Search

Last August, Pinterest created a feature that allows users to pinch to zoom in on pins on their mobile device. They are now making this feature do more than enlarge an image. Now, when someone pinches to zoom in, it will trigger a visual search for that object. This action is called “responsive visual search”, and it removes the added step of needing to tap the Lens icon first in the lower-right corner of the pin to activate visual search.


Firefox Browser Extension

Lastly, Pinterest is rolling out a version of its Chrome browser extension to Firefox, so users can do visual searches on photos found on non-Pinterest desktop websites. The Firefox extension works just like the Chrome version. When users click the Lens icon on top of an image, the extension will open an overlay showing pins featuring similar objects on Pinterest.



Pinterest continues to evolve in terms of visual tools to achieve better product discovery. Each of these new features can benefit businesses that take advantage of them. For companies that are currently using, or interested in using Pinterest, these updates add a range of new considerations, further adding to the platform’s potential and appeal. Visual search is on the rise on Pinterest. It definitely is not as high a consideration as Facebook in the eyes of marketers, but there is significant value in Pinterest marketing, especially for B2C brands wanting to connect with up and coming consumer trends.


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