Pinterest and Flipboard features focus on visual curation

The social platforms announced new tools and a design overhaul that enable users to connect real life to ideas online, as well as to gather information and make purchases more easily.

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Users can connect what they see on the street with what others have gathered and created online.

On Wednesday, Pinterest announced in a blog post that it was rolling out a feature called “Lens,” which it hopes will better connect offline activities to online shopping, creating a bounty of marketing and engagement opportunities:

When it comes to looking for something you want to try—a new pasta dish, a new pair of shoes, a new table for your dining room—you really need to see it first. Humans are visual creatures. We use our eyes to decide if something looks good, or if it matches our style.

… Sometimes you spot something out in the world that looks interesting, but when you try to search for it online later, words fail you. You have this rich, colorful picture in your mind, but you can’t translate it into the words you need to find it.

The platform shared a video of how the tool works:

The company elaborated:

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