Faith Merino of Vator.tv reports, "Pinterest may have just gotten one step closer to monetizing. The company has confirmed its acquisition of visual search technology company VisualGraph, which could result in A) a stronger commerce angle, or B) ultra targeted ads. Or both! The two-man company was founded by Kevin Jing, who formerly worked on Google’s image search technology. VisualGraph was specifically designed to be applied to commerce and 'visual shopping,' so it seems likely that that’s how Pinterest will integrate the technology. And Pinterest is definitely raising money like a commerce company. The startup recently raised a massive $225 million round just last October, bringing its total raised to more than $550 million since 2010."
Merino continues, "This marks Pinterest’s fourth acquisition in the last 12 months, including Punchfork, Livestar, and Hackermeter. 'While a single image can captivate and inspire, a network of connected images allows for inspiration, exploration and discovery at scale,' wrote Jing and colleague David Liu, in a blog post. 'Our approach is to combine the state-of-the-art machine vision tools, such as object recognition (e.g. shoes, faces), with large-scale distributed search and machine learning infrastructures.' In his LinkedIn profile, Jing says that the accuracy of VisualGraph’s face-detection technology is 'on par' with Facebook’s Face.com and Google. Pinterest may use the technology to allow users to build out larger boards of interest. For example, you like flowy peasant tops even though no one really wears those anymore? (It’s okay.) Well guess what: Pinterest will find ALL the flowy peasant tops for you."
Image: Courtesy Pinterest