This is truly exciting! When I heard what Pinterest was working on, I ran up to my wife and showed her. She thought it was the coolest thing to hit the world of Pinterest. This is how I felt when I discovered the new tool, Flashlight by Pinterest.
Back in February of 2015, Pinterest quietly announced at a conference that they were working on a new visual discovery tool called Flashlight, which I believe is still in the alpha stages of testing.
In my opinion this will change the way that Pinterest works and the world of visual search discovery.
What is Flashlight for Pinterest?
Flashlight is a tool that allows you to drag your mouse over an object or area of a pin and allow you to find pins that contain a similar object.
You can see the “Search Image ” button at the top. When clicked on, you will be presented with a selection tool as you will see in the picture below. The pictures bit blurry because it was taken off a YouTube video.
You’ll also notice near the bottom of the picture that the flowers have been highlighted. Once you select this area of the pin, real time results will show up on the right hand side of the pin that shows similar pins of that object.
With Flashlight you’re able to choose the object and then Pinterest will provide similar results on the side so that you’re better able to discover similar or the same product and hopefully find the source of the product.
This Will Change the World of Visual Search and Discovery
Back in August of 2013, I wrote about why Pinterest was a better search engine that Google, and this is what I wrote as my first headline for the article “Pinterest is Grooming to be a Visual Recognition Search Engine.”
I have long advocated in my book that businesses actually need to observe the type of colors, shapes, and objects that are within popular pins of their competitors to help them be found in Pinerest search results and related pins.
With Flashlight quietly being worked on by Pinterest, there’s no doubt that this will change the way that search and discovery is done on Pinterest and the world of social media.
It’s time for businesses to start paying attention, not just to text based SEO (search engine optimization) for the Pinterest search engine, but to VSEO (visual search engine optimization) for their Pinterest marketing. This is why it’s important to ensure that you have a team member that understands how the Pinterest Search Engine works as a whole.
This means that you need to pay attention to creating images that are visually stunning on Pinterest, but also taking visual elements from the most popular pins on Pinterest to help your pins become more easily discovered and if you want to increase your chances of your pins showing up in Pinterest search results.
How this Changes the World of Business
Let’s say that you happen to see a pin that shows off a living room. You notice that in the living room there are these round little speakers, but you’re not too sure what they are, and they’re not mentioned in the pin description at all.
The worst part is that when you do click on the pin, you go to a website that’s irrelevant. Maybe because it lands on page about TVs.
With Flahslight you can choose the speakers, and can find similar pins, and hopefully this will help you find the product page you’re looking for.
This can be great for businesses that have unique products that have a specific design that can’t be found anywhere else.
For businesses, this can also mean bad news because people may actually discover your competitors. Savvy shoppers may find similar styles, colors of products that they like even better.
If you happen to be the owner of an e-commerce space, and you source your products from the same wholesaler as someone else, then this can provide some pretty stiff competition.
How You Can Prepare for Flashlight for Pinterest
I believe that Flashlight will become a reality. Pinterest rarely announces something to the public if they aren’t serious about it.
To prepare for the launch of Flashlight for your business, especially one that’s object based like electronics, purses, jackets, and cups, you need to start uploading a variety of product shots that are up close, and a variety of product placement shots in different environments.
This way when people do Flashlight your products within envrionments shots, they are able to see the close up object pins on Pinterest.
If you’re interested in learning more about Flashlight, you can check out this video, and make sure you sign up for my newsletter for great tips on Pinterest.