One year after introducing buy buttons, Pinterest is doubling down on its efforts to become your go-to spot for online shopping.
The social media startup, valued at $11 billion, on Tuesday announced a flurry of new features from its brand new headquarters in San Francisco that are designed to draw in more users and make it easier for them to shop on Pinterest for any item they might be looking for -- even if that item is something you come across IRL (ie. in real life, not on the Internet).
Chief among these new tools is one that will let users snap a picture of any objects they encounter in the real world and instantly look for it on Pinterest. This tool should come in handy for those moments in life when you spot someone with a cool shirt or a nice pair of shoes that you like but have no idea where to buy.
"Nobody else has really done this yet," said Dmitry Kislyuk, a visual search software engineer at Pinterest. "What we're building let's you just walk into a room and get recommendations and results for everything and every object that you see."
Pinterest does not earn revenue off the items that are sold on its service, but the company does rake in money for every pin retailers pay to promote. The business model is clear: the more sales Pinterest drives for retailers, the more those retailers will pay for ads on the service.
"Our mission at Pinterest is to help people discover and do what they love, and helping people find and buy something is an important way that were making that mission happen," said Tim Kendall, president at Pinterest.
This initiative appears to have gotten off to a running start since Pinterest added "Buyable Pins" to the mobile versions of its service last year. Already, the company says there are more than 10 million buyable items on the service, and the company was reportedly targeting $169 million in revenue for 2015. To expand on these efforts, the company on Tuesday announced the launch of Buyable Pins for the web version of its service, making it possible for users to now also shop on their laptops.
In addition to Buyable Pins for the web, Pinterest is also adding a new shopping bag feature, which is essentially its version of a shopping cart. This tool will make it easier for users to shop around and add items, both on their mobile devices and laptops, before making their final purchase. The company is also introducing new merchant profiles, making it simple for users to find all the buyable items from their favorite brands.
"Most people don't start thinking about the holidays until October or November -- in my case it's like December 24 -- but retailers start thinking about it now," Kendall said. "So that's why Pinterest is talking about this now."