Pinterest is looking to improve search and discovery on its website and mobile apps with the acquisition of a company called VisualGraph.
It’s a two-person company and both employees — Kevin Jing and David Liu — are starting at Pinterest today.
In a statement confirming the acquisition, Pinterest says the acquisition “will help us build technology to better understand what people are Pinning. By doing so, we hope to make it easier for people to find the things they love.”
VisualGraph’s technology connects images through things like face recognition, object recognition and shape/color analysis. This image shows some examples of the object recognition at work.
In a page on its website that’s no longer linked to from the home page, the company says its visual search platform can be used for things like product recommendations and pornography filtering — two capabilities that Pinterest would have an obvious interest in.
In a note on the VisualGraph home page, Jing and Lui describe what they’ll be doing at Pinterest:
On Pinterest, millions of people are curating and sharing billions of Pins everyday. And these Pins are more than just images — they link to contents that can inspire and enrich people’s lives. We are excited for the opportunity to combine machine vision with human vision and curation, and to build a visual discovery experience that is both aesthetically appealing and immensely useful for people everywhere.
Jing previously worked on visual search at Google, and Liu interned at Google.