FOR TURNING CAMERAS
Pinterest Seven years a;er encouraging users to curate the internet with
photos rather than hyperlinks, Pin-
terest cofounders Ben Silbermann
and Evan Sharp have unveiled their
next act: Pinterest Lens, which
launched last February and enables
people to search for information
and inspiration simply by aiming
their phones’ cameras at objects
around them. With advertisers in-
creasingly embracing Pinterest—
2017 revenue was reportedly just
shy of $500 million, up 64% from
the previous year—CEO Silbermann
and chief product officer Sharp talk
about how visual search is the next
frontier for users and brands alike.
How important is visual search—
being able to identify what’s in an
image and connect it to other pins
and photos—to Pinterest’s future? G r o
82 FAS TCOMPAN Y.COM MARCH/APRIL 2018 Photographs by Chloe Aftel
Ben Silbermann: It’s foundational.
All the media that you consume on
Pinterest is obviously visual. It’s either a photo or a video. Understanding, computationally, what’s inside
those photos and videos is fundamental. Using computer vision, we
can show you things that feel like
they were handpicked just for you.
Is using the smartphone camera
the key to all of this?
BS: It’s exactly half the story.
Evan Sharp: In the next year, [re-
ceiving information from a] touch
screen is massively more important.
Ten years out, we’ll see.
BS: We are really excited about
making the camera useful. A lot of
big companies are chasing each
other around [in the camera space].
There’s nothing wrong with putting out an augmented-reality Star
Sharp, left, and
focused on building
a social network