Noted Pinterest marketer Vincent Ng (whom we recently spoke with about Pinterest marketing tactics) is pointing out that Pinterest is testing a new feature called Flashlight for Pinterest, which he says "will change the way that Pinterest works and the world of visual search discovery".
The company quietly announced the feature at a conference back in February, and Ng thinks its still in the alpha stage of testing. We reached out to the company for more info, but they didn't have much to say about it.
A spokesperson told us, "As mentioned in the visual search announcement a few weeks ago, we're experimenting with many different uses for visual discovery technology, but it's too early to share any further details."
The announcement the spokesperson is referring to deals with experiments Pinterest is doing with real-time related pin recommendations and object recognition. More on this here.
So what is Flashlight? You can actually get a look at it in this video from Pinterest Engineering toward the end at about an hour and twenty-six minutes in:
As demonstrated, you can click the flashlight feature at the top of the screen and crop any part of an image, and in real time, it displays search results on the right side. It's pretty cool.
According to the presenter, that's just the tip of the iceberg. Very interesting stuff on the horizon from Pinterest as it moves toward more of a shopping experience.