When you meet someone for the first time, are you more likely to remember their face or their name?

Half of the human brain is directly or indirectly devoted to processing visual information. It can identify images seen for as little as 13 milliseconds, which is why it should come as no surprise that 65% of people are in fact visual learners.

Over the past 5 years, Visual Search has been slowing etching its way into our digital lives. As usual, Google are very much leading the way – this time with Google Lens. With Lens, you point your camera at an object and the Lens will process and identify the object and tell you all about it. Pretty cool.

But while Google Lens is interesting, social platforms are – and have always been – more visual than search engines. People use social media to consume visual content, especially video (Snapchatters watch 10 billion videos each day). Users curate their own worlds while brands try to find ways to fit seamlessly into them.

There is one social platform where visuals are the name of the game: Pinterest. While most of the other social media platforms are all about sharing with friends and family, Pinterest is very much about you. This is a place where people go to be inspired.

Ben Silbermann, its CEO and co-founder put it best:

As a Pinner once said to me, “Pinterest is for yourself, not your selfies”.

I love that. Pinterest is more of a personal tool than a social one. People don’t come to see what their friends are doing. (There are lots of other great places out there for that!) Instead, they come to Pinterest to find ideas to try, figure out which ones they love, and learn a little bit about themselves in the process.

In Australia, 73% of Pinners are female and 40% Millennials, 18-34. 88% of their total audience use the platform to discover new ideas with the 4 key areas being weddings, new homes, baby and travel. And being new to the Australian market, Pinterest is offering brands that rare opportunity to be an early adopter and take advantage of some of its impressive technology.

88% of pinners have said they used the platform in preparation to buy something and 87% have said they bought something after seeing it on Pinterest. On Pinterest, ads are less disruptive and create a safe environment for consumers to find what they are looking for.

Case in point, take a look at my own account below. The ad itself, second column from the right, fits into the overall aesthetic and does not impose. I like it; it makes sense and I would be more likely to engage with this brand. It doesn’t feel like an intrusion but more an extension of me.

 

 

But Pinterest have slowly been taking things to the next level over the last few years, starting with the release of related ideas at the end of 2015. This feature allows a user to zoom in on anything within a pin and find related ideas – but word of advice – beware of your content and background. Strange things can happen.

 

 

But when it works, it works.

 

 

Now Shop the Look has been rolled out, which allows users to further look into products they find within a pin and even purchase that item, either directly from Pinterest or from the retailer. It is due to Pinterest’s new partnerships with the likes of Curulate, Olapic, ShopStyle, Project September and Refinery29 that Pinners have the ability to Shop the Look and make a fairly seamless experience.

 

 

Pinterest Lens, an extension of Shop the Look in some ways, was released earlier this year, a function which allows Pinners to take a photo on their smartphone and find pins which are similar or related. Users can now find something they saw in an instant without the need to remember any words or makes and model numbers.

 

 

These new releases are a big step towards creating a seamless experience. With only a few clicks you can find the item you want, maybe even a few new ideas, and with one click of a button you are done. Purchase made.

With Pinterest looking to connect the Visual Search functionality to promoted pins, it will provide brands with a unique opportunity to get in front of customers in the most crucial of moments: when they are ready to make a purchase.

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Jovana Radovic

Jovana Radovic is the National Head of Social strategy at iProspect and a member of the DAN Discovery Council. Jovana’s role is focused on supporting the client teams across all social platforms to ensure teams are able to consistently and effectively incorporate paid social as part of a client’s paid strategy approach.