- Pinterest is investing in a visual search function to allow users to "zoom in on a portion of an image and actually search within that image for items that are similar," said Ben Silbermann, cofounder and CEO of Pinterest, during the company's Q1 2019 earnings call.
- The visual search function will allow Pinterest to take cues from a pin's physical attributes and decide whether or not it's relevant for the user in future experiences. Technology is what "powers all those experiences," said Silbermann.
- To improve Pinterest's recommendation capabilities, the company has to develop a technology and product design. The technology has to "help expand past those horizons" for users who might feel "pigeonholed" by past interactions and pins on the platform.
Pinterest's Q1 2019 earnings call was its first as a public company and reception was shaky. The company's shares fell 15% after the report. Pinterest revenue grew 54% year-over-year to $202 million, according to the company's earnings results.
To improve its market chances and customer experience, the digital bookmarking platform is expanding its technological capabilities and leadership.
CTO Jeremy King joined the pinning platform in March, after serving as CTO of Walmart and helping the retailer undergo advanced digital transformation and experimentation. The pinning platform charged him with scaling the engineering organization and recruit more talent in its San Francisco and Seattle offices, according to Silbermann.
The pinning platform has about 250 million monthly users, with each visit contributing to a more personalized experience crafted by data. "A lot of our most cutting-edge technology really goes to the problem of relevance," said Silbermann, referring to how users are shown the right pin at the right time.
Pinterest started working on its machine learning systems last year, reevaluating engineering fundamentals for scaling purposes. Now the company is looking at how it manages the stability and cost of the system as more features, like video, are added to the pinning platform.