Pinterest Adds Search For Skin Tone Ranges To iOS App

Pinterest said on Thursday nearly 60% of the top 100 search terms for skin-related topics on its platform in 2018 included keywords related to skin tone, such as pale, olive, or dark complexion. It's never easy searching for cosmetics online, especially when trying to match a particular color.

The feature was launched in 2018 with an eye on keeping bias out of search results, but now Pinterest will roll it out more broadly. During the coming weeks, when searching for makeup and hair ideas in Pinterest on a device running iOS, a palette will appear to narrow the search, allowing searchers to see other personalized pins and videos in the results. Each palette represents a range of skin tones. 

Pinterest -- which began testing the feature in April -- estimates that 52 million people engage with pins related to beauty content on the site each month. About 63% of those who pin information about beauty and personal care products use Pinterest to search for these types of products, and some 86% have made a purchase based on the pins.

Searches rose about 89% for terms like “beauty tips,” “eyeshadow,” and trends like “glossy makeup.” Searches for stand-out lip colors rose 467% and “going gray” rose 879%. Since the feature is based on artificial intelligence and machine learning, the company believes that these types of searches now will result in more personalized videos and pins.

Pinterest’s technical and Inclusion & Diversity teams worked together to develop the feature. Candice Morgan, head of Inclusion & Diversity, which joined Pinterest in 2016, leads the effort to keep bias out of searches.


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