Facebook is working on visual search technology for Instagram as it doubles its shopping features across its platform. Speaking in a live on Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg said the company is in the early stages of creating camera-based search tools.
The feature would be similar to those offered by Snapchat and Pinterest, who have both invested heavily in visual research. Zuckerberg described two potential use cases for the technology on Instagram. When browsing Instagram, visual search could reveal similar products available elsewhere in the app, or it could allow users to find products with their cameras or images from their camera roll.
“When you find something, you can touch it and find similar products that people in all of our stores sell the moment you see something you like,” Zuckerberg said. “We think visual research is going to be really useful for making Instagram photos for sale in general.”
In addition to the visual search for Instagram, Zuckerberg also announced that will be coming soon on Marketplace and WhatsApp. Facebook is already integrated in WhatsApp chat, but now businesses will be able to create showcases for the chat app.
The company also works on “Business Ads,” which allow companies to target ads based on “people’s individual shopping preferences”. Finally, Facebook could also personalize these ads with special offers or promotions, Zuckerberg said.
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