One of the troubling aspects of Internet shopping is that the exact shape and three-dimensional look of a product cannot be accurately depicted on a flat screen. Pinterest is hoping to resolve this issue with the acquisition of VisualGraph, a company that creates machine vision, image recognition and visual search technologies, allowing Pinterest to recognize the shape of certain types of clothing and match images and products with users who may interested in tank tops or headbands, to give a few examples.
Like every social networking service, Pinterest is working towards finding ways to monetize their site, and like just about every social networking service, they’ve decided that ads are the answer. Advertisements, while certainly help lead a company towards profitability, also work towards making that social media platform seem less cool, more lame. Myspace tanked shortly after being purchased by NewsCorps, who then tried to monetize the site more thoroughly. The young hip ones left Facebook for Twitter and Twitter for Snapchat.
Pinterest has always seemed to be a unique beast in that it involves less of a revolving door than the daily feed expansions of a Facebook or Twitter. Once pinned, an item on Pinterest can sometimes remain on a user’s page for quite a while and the pages tend to be representative of an individual’s personal taste, as opposed to being a forum for expressing upset feelings about traffic, or an opportunity to talk trash without addressing the user directly through subtweeting.
While there should still be a fair amount of skepticism as to how efficiently Pinterest can turn its network into an advertising revenue-generating machine, it’s also worth noting that unlike Twitter and Facebook, sites whose feeds can easily be navigable through the litany of unwanted ads, a fraudulent item on a Pinterest page is not only misrepresentative of a user’s taste, it also may work towards delegitimizing Pinterest completely.
Edited by Cassandra Tucker