Pinterest, the image-search platform with 175 million users, added a feature that lets smartphone users of its mobile app pinch a photo to zoom in and out, a blog post said. The feature is similar to those in other apps like Instagram, which added pinch-to-zoom a year ago.
Pinterest, which said user demands for pinch-to-zoom were one of the most popular requests, debuted the feature for iPhone and iPad and plans to introduce the Android version soon. The zoom feature helps people to isolate items they see in pictures, including clothing and home décor.
The company said visual searches, which let users find products they see in a picture, have grown 60% in the past year. Last month, the company said mobile text searches had risen 40% in the past year, and about 85% of all searches on Pinterest came from a mobile device.
As ad-supported tech companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter and Snap crowd into each other's turf with overlapping services, Pinterest has been gradually positioning its platform as a go-to source for image search and sharing. Its new pinch-to-zoom feature, while hardly groundbreaking from a tech standpoint, is another step toward giving its users greater flexibility in searching through images, particularly for products or services they aspire to buy.
That's a key selling point for Pinterest, which needs to demonstrate to advertisers that consumers use its service to find ideas and inspiration that compel them to act in some way, whether it's a product purchase, app download or other response. As TechCrunch points out, Pinterest is facing competition in the interior design market from Houzz, whose augmented reality features let people test out home remodeling ideas with their smartphones.
A key selling point for Pinterest is that it helps brand advertisers to engage with their audiences, according to a study from real-time information provider Neustar. Pinners who engaged with an advertiser's content on the social network had a 40% larger shopping cart at checkout, the study said. Paid impressions were 30% more effective at driving in-store or ecommerce sales than online display ads, the next best performing channel. Pinterest ads also delivered an impressive 28-to-1 return on ad spend.