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Pinterest-Samsung Partnership Has Everything to Do With Google Search

By Published on .

Credit: Pinterest
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Pinterest just gained a powerful ally in the battle for search ad dollars.

The company announced today at Samsung's Unpacked event that Pinterest visual search technology will power image search in the new Galaxy S8 and Bixby, Samsung's AI assistant.

The move allows people using the Galaxy S8 to take photos of anything through the phone's standard camera app and get related ideas and products from Pinterest. Take a picture of your friend's sofa, for example, and find out where you can buy it.

People familar with the partnership told Ad Age that the Pinterest integration wasn't a small pre-install deal, but one where the company's tech is deeply integrated into the core function of the phone.

Users will also be able to perform visual searches on the web and match those images to real-world items. Both features are already available in the Pinterest app, but its partnership with Samsung should help it grow its search ad business without requiring people to download anything.

Search advertising is completely dominated by Google, which has 78% market share, for about $28.5 billion in revenue. Pinterest's value proposition to advertisers, however, is that its users search for things that they want to buy, including as they plan for major life events such as weddings or moving into a new home. And the company is banking on its visual search offering to be a major source of revenue in the near future.

Brands like Home Depot, Target and Barilla are among a growing number who have tested its associated search ads, the company said.

About 97% of search queries performed on Pinterest do not mention brands, representing a prime opportunity for marketers to capture new customers.

The Android operating system is also Pinterest's fastest growing user base, a company spokesman said.

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