Facebook is working on visual search technology for Instagram as it doubles shopping functionality across its platform. Talk live on Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg said the company is in the early stages of creating camera-based search tools.
The functionality would be similar to those offered by Snapchat and Pinterest, who have both invested heavily in visual search. Zuckerberg described two potential use cases for the technology on Instagram. When browsing Instagram, visual search may bring up similar products available elsewhere in the app, or it may allow users to find products using their cameras or camera roll images.
“When you find something, you can tap on it and find similar products that people in all of our stores are selling the moment you see something you like,” Zuckerberg said. “We think visual search is going to be really helpful in making Instagram photos purchasable overall.”
In addition to the visual search for Instagram, Zuckerberg also announced that will soon arrive on Marketplace and WhatsApp. Facebook has already integrated in WhatsApp chats, but businesses will now be able to create showcases for the chat app.
The company is also working on “store ads,” which would allow businesses to target ads based on “people’s individual shopping preferences”. Eventually, Facebook could further personalize these ads with specials or promotions, Zuckerberg said.
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