Pinterest has fully automated Shop the Look, a feature that enables users to buy products from the company’s partners.
Launched in 2017, Shop the Look uses artificial intelligence to find objects in pinned photos that are similar to products in stock from vendors. While the original version had a “human in the loop” component that worked to match the pins with products, the company has now launched a fully automated experience for home decor scenes on iOS, with Android coming soon.
“This update increases our Shop The Look pin coverage by 22.5x across billions of pins and products, and in early testing has already lifted engagement by 7%,” wrote Kunlong Gu, engineer in the discovery division at Pinterest. “This update brings more computer vision-powered results across Pinterest, showing visually similar ideas to more people. With more Shop the Look pins in the system, pinners can expect to see a much more consistent user experience across all home decor scenes. In terms of internal operation, the artificial intelligence automation frees people from doing repetitive work so they can spend more time being creative.”
As Pinterest works on new technology for its users, the company is also reportedly aiming for to go public as early as this April.
It was reported late last year that Pinterest could possibly choose its underwriters for the IPO in the early part of 2019. Once it’s set, the company could reach a valuation at or in excess of $12 billion, although that could change.
Sources also reported that Pinterest has spoken to banks about a credit line for as much as $500 million, which is another sure sign it is preparing for an IPO. While the company’s CEO Ben Silbermann has admitted that the company would aim for an IPO in 2019, he did not give any other details.
Last fall, the site reached more than 250 million monthly active users.