Pinterest is taking the next steps towards becoming a central hub for product discovery with the acquisition of AI-powered shopping platform THE YES, which learns user preferences in order to provide more personalized matches for each user.
Founded in 2018, THE YES uses quizzes and direct usage inputs to refine its item listings based on your preferences.
As you can see in this example, part of the onboarding process involves simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ responses on various brands and product images, which helps to improve its automated matches, alongside advanced machine learning based on user activity.
As per Pinterest:
“With hundreds of brand merchants on its platform, the team at THE YES has built an extensive fashion taxonomy that uses human expertise and machine learning to power a comprehensive algorithm in fashion. THE YES’s brand relationships and shopping expertise can potentially be applied to other categories on Pinterest such as home, beauty and food.”
The deal will give Pinterest more tools with which to improve its search tools, as well as direct connection with more brands to build out its platform listings.
Current CEO of THE YES Julie Bornstein will join Pinterest as part of the acquisition, and will report directly to Pinterest chief Ben Silbermann to help improve the platform’s shopping vision and strategy.
It’s an interesting move, which could have a big impact on Pinterest’s recommendation systems and spotlights, in a range of ways, and it’ll be interesting to see how Pinterest looks to incorporate elements of THE YES into its own product discovery process.
Pinterest saw a big jump in usage at the start of the pandemic, with the lockdowns forcing more people to seek alternate shopping measures. But since then, its active user count has been in decline, while it’s also still working on how to maximize its revenue streams to improve its growth prospects.
Improved product matches are a key element in this, and Pinterest’s systems continue to improve on this front, making it a valuable companion app for regular users.
The acquisition will help in this respect, and if Pinterest can boost its revenue per user stats, that’ll go a long way towards quelling concerns around overall user growth.
The deal is expected to be finalized before the end of June.