The View From Pinterest: New Features, Forecasts, Personnel Shifts

Pinterest this week is rolling out new object-detection capabilities to its Lens beta, including the ability to read QR Codes with Lens.

“Now, people can tap the Lens icon in the Pinterest app and hover over any QR Code to discover more ideas and information,” a company spokeswoman told me on Tuesday.

As if that wasn’t exciting enough, the pin-based network just found a new CTO in its current head of discovery engineering, Vanja Josifovski.

In his present role, Josifovski leads the teams building Lens, Search and Related Pins. Reporting to Li Fan, head of engineering at Pinterest, Josifovski will now oversee new technical initiatives for the company in machine learning, search and infrastructure.

The company’s Lens offering is designed to take the work out of search, and, as such, it appears to be resonating with users. In the last month, in fact, the number of camera searches have more than tripled, according to internal estimates.

Going forward, Pinterest is also adding visual guides to search among multiple objects in results.

As such, when users “Lens” a larger picture -- like an outfit -- they can tap into visual guides to narrow their search and dive deeper into more relevant ideas.

Now, users can also tap the Lens icon in the Pinterest app and hover over any QR Code to discover more ideas and information.

Pinterest continues to hold its own at the interaction of social media and commerce. The pin-based platform has grown to more than 150 million users -- up from around 100 million about a year ago -- according to figures released late last year.

Ben Silbermann,Pinterest co-founder and CEO, recently said he was most excited about the diversity of the platform’s community. Over half of the people on Pinterest -- and 75% of new signups -- are from outside the United States, he said.

Moreover, 40% of consumers joining Pinterest are men, which represents a 70% increase year-over-year.

Investors continue to watch for signs that Pinterest is preparing to go public. Fueling their interest, the company recently brought on Todd Morgenfeld -- formerly VP of finance at Twitter -- as its first chief financial officer.

Pinterest reportedly expects to rake in $3 billion in revenue in 2018. If accurate, that would be dramatically higher than the roughly $100 million in revenue Pinterest reportedly took in last year.

To drive revenue growth, Pinterest is pushing brands and businesses to set up Promoted Pins. To encourage them, the visual search and sharing network recently began rolling out a new “Promote” button with which brands and businesses can launch Promoted Pin campaigns in as little as nine seconds.

Once Pins have been “promoted,” partners can then review or edit their campaigns using Pinterest’s Ad Manager self-service ad tool. To help businesses create Pins tailored to their particular objectives, Pinterest also recently released a creative best practices guide.

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