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Pinterest and the visual web 🖼

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Hi again! 👋 Today I'm sending this digest from beautiful Hawaii with my family. Yesterday we hiked Po
 
February 19 · Issue #2 · View online
Ryan Hoover
Hi again! 👋 Today I’m sending this digest from beautiful Hawaii with my family. Yesterday we hiked Pololu Valley, captured via Spectacles, which is fitting considering today’s topic. 😎

Pinterest and the visual web 🖼
Once upon a time, people browsed the world wide web through human-curated directories, like this one:
As more websites were made, algorithmic search became a necessity. Yahoo and others began indexing the web, using the text on the page to infer relevancy to the user’s query. In the late 90’s, Google introduced PageRank, an innovation that dramatically improved search results by qualifying page quality based on the reputation and number of sites linking to it. Now Google represents ~80% of search traffic worldwide.
But Google and traditional search engines still heavily rely on text and links to deliver quality results. What if there are no text or links?
The Rise of Visuals
We’re seeing an explosion of images, GIFs, and videos created online. A picture says a thousand words, but a picture has no words. There’s so much information hidden inside of every visual that’s not captured by traditional search engines.
More people are consuming visuals and in some cases, bypassing traditional text experiences entirely.
I recently asked a college student, “What was the last product you purchased?”
He responded, “I recently purchased a new iPhone and needed a case. So, I went to YouTube and searched for ‘best iPhone case’.”
Others might default to Amazon, Google, or a review site to read about the product. This teen wanted to see it.
Pinteresting, right?
Pinterest is well-positioned for the visual web, capturing a wealth of data, fueled by its 150M+ monthly users. As the community’s grown since its launch in 2010, its become very good at understanding photos to help its users find a “sleek red handbag”. Just last week, Pinterest introduced its new visual search feature, Lens. I’ll let this GIF do the talking:
Simply snap a photo of something and Pinterest will tell you what it is. The results are impressive, unlocking a whole new understanding of things previously not (or poorly) indexed online.
This gets particularly pinteresting in a future where more of our world is captured through photos and video, when we capture our daily interactions and see the world through augmented reality. The company that can index, categorize, and surface this information best, may become the next Google.
…or maybe Google will buy the next Google. 😉
What I'm upvoting 🔼
Spoonbill
Useful tool for tracking when people I follow change their bio. Especially useful for journalists.
Christopher Bot
Alec, a 14-year-old from Canada, made this bot to help kids with their homework. Love this comment in the thread: “I’m in school today, but I’ll try to answer questions between classes.” 😂
Crawlies
A fun iMessage app to troll your friends. 🕷
What I'm reading 📖
Who I'm following 🐥
Pieter Levels, Maker of Nomad List (and many other things)
Pieter is a nomad, traveling the world working on his own projects from cafes around the world.
Tara Mann, Designer at Basecamp
Tara’s a talented designer that makes me lol. 😂
Everything Goats
The greatest Twitter account of all time. 🐐
What I'm listening to 🎶
More awesome mixes to dance or work to:
SnowTape Vol. 5 with Kasbo
Diplo and Friends Mix with Jai Wolf
FADER Mix with Giraffage
Podcasting with Kevin Rose 🎧
A few weeks ago on a sunny Sunday afternoon, Kevin and I hit the record button.  You can listen to our convo about Product Hunt and tech on SoundCloud and iTunes.
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