On Google, a search for “red sweater” returns text … and a carousel of images a brand can buy its way into. But on Pinterest, its natural query response is a mosaic of images, about 75% of which are created by brands.
Pinterest’s search has been built from the ground up to process visual search, with algorithms built to scan and understand what’s in an image. Akkerman says that nicely positions Pinterest for mobile-first search budgets.
“Looking at voice search and what’s coming in the future, I really see visual search being a big part of what’s to come,” he said.
A search algorithm can find a sweater it thinks suits your tastes, but it can’t necessarily show it to you in an organic way.
“I came from traditional text-based search,” Akkerman said. “And it’s true what people say: We eat with our eyes.”