Visual search has been around for a number of years and is built into several popular search engines and social media platforms, including Pinterest, Snapchat, Amazon, and Google. Yet, visual search continues to grow. According to the data, 62% of millennials and members of Gen Z prefer visual search over all other search types.
If you’re not familiar with visual search, we’re here to get you up to speed. Let’s look at what visual search is, how it’s being used, and how you can harness its advantages.
What is visual search?
Visual search uses artificial intelligence to help people search using real-world imagery rather than text. Visual search falls under the umbrella of what is known as “sensory search,” which includes searching via text, voice, and vision.
Although both visual and image search is based around imagery, the crucial difference lies in the fact that people use words to conduct an image search, whereas, with visual search, a user employs an image to conduct the search.
So, when a person snaps a photograph of an object, using Google Lens, the software identifies the object within the photo and provides information and search results to the user. Visual search is particularly useful for eCommerce stores and brands, and with the implementation of well-optimized content, these companies have a better chance of being the winning search result for a user.
The players in visual search
While there are many players in the world of visual search, let’s take a look at two platforms making big moves: Pinterest and Google.
Introduced in 2017, Pinterest Lens boasts more than 600 million searches each month, and it was announced in 2019 that the technology has the ability to recognize more than 2.5 billion items. With Pinterest Lens, users can snap a photo of almost anything and be able to find, save, or shop for the items captured within the picture.