The New Pinterest Search Engine: Guided Search

There’s a new search engine in town, and images are the name of the game. On Thursday, April 24, Pinterest released their own search engine called Guided Search, which runs solely on image results.

As of now Guided Search is only on the Pinterest app, making it an exclusively mobile experience. And what an experience it is! Instead of typing in long tail keywords to get desired results, users type in a generic search and filter down to their specific query by swiping a top rail that provides related content. Let’s go through an example.

Say you’re writing a text to a friend and want a picture of a dog. You go into the Pinterest app, select the search tab and type “dogs.” But you realize you might want puppies too, so you select the offered option “dogs and puppies.” You remember that your friend is obsessed with boxers, so you select the “boxer” option in the swipe-able top rail. Now you have all the boxer dogs and puppies on Pinterest to choose from for your text message.

While only on the Pinterest mobile app for now, Guided Search could change the way people search. As a matter of fact, that’s just the point. When announcing the search engine, Naveen Gavini, one of the lead engineer on the project, told the press “We fundamentally needed to change search.”

This is a fundamental change to traditional search engines, a move away from keywords and into image search for content discovery. This flexible style of search allows consumers to get to exactly what they’re looking for with less typing on their tiny mobile keyboards, or can allow consumers to discover what they want as they search. Call it “whim searching,” or “search for the ADD generation”; either way, with Guided Search Pinterest has made their claim on the search world loud and clear.

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