Design for life: Pinterest chief out to inspire as it gets personal with users
Pinterest is the world’s online store for ideas. On the fringes of the Web Summit, spoke exclusively to co-founder and CEO Ben Silbermann about the firm’s future and its Dublin plans
“The director of the movie ‘Crazy Rich Asians’, just came by the office. He said that he used Pinterest for a lot of his set inspiration and designs. That’s something that we hear quite a lot.
“Last year, some of the writers from [Netflix series] ’Stranger Things’ came over to show their boards for inspiration.”
Where will Pinterest go next in terms of product development?
“At a high level, I think Pinterest will remain the same for a long time,” he says. ”It comes back to this idea of giving people inspiration in life.
“That said, we’re investing in a few areas to make that better. One is that we’re really investing heavily in personalisation.
“We want to make sure that when you open Pinterest, it feels like everything’s been handpicked for you.
“So we’ve invested both in machine learning as a technology platform and specifically in computer vision.”
One such feature is the ability to pick part of an image and hunt for similar styles. “I think computer vision has been something that people have spoken about for years,” he says.
”But it’s just getting to that point where it’s going mainstream. So we’re investing in a pretty big way.”
Another thing the company is working on, Silbermann says, is making it possible to do more when you see something that “inspires” you on Pinterest.
“That means different things for different types of pins for a recipe,” he says. ”It might mean that you can leave a review or actually buy the product, or be sent directly to a retailer.
“This distinguishes Pinterest from being something that just keeps you online to something that can hopefully get you offline to do those things right.”