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Pinterest launches virtual makeup ‘Try On’ feature, starting with lipstick

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A new Pinterest feature will allow users to virtually try on products, starting with lipstick, before they shop from retailers like Estée Lauder, Sephora, bareMinerals, Neutrogena, NYX Professional Makeup, YSL Beauté, Lancôme, and Urban Decay from L’Oréal. To use the new feature, pinners will first open Pinterest’s smart camera, “Lens,” while in Search, then click “Try it” to explore the different lipstick shades available. To shop the products, you just swipe up.

Another way to access Try on is by typing in lipstick-related terms into Pinterest’s search engine — like “plum lipstick” or “red lips,” for example.

Pinterest says that it won’t alter your photo using skin smoothing or other techniques, so you can be sure of what the lipstick looks like on the real you. In addition, the feature has been integrated with Pinterest’s existing skin tone range feature, so users can shop for similar lip shades on skin tones that match their own.

While makeup and beauty is a topic that’s often featured on platforms like Instagram and YouTube, Pinterest is also a top destination for those who are shopping for beauty and personal care items. According to Pinterest, more than 52 million people search and engage with beauty content on its platform in the U.S. every month.

In addition, a 2018 study from GfK found that 87% of beauty and personal care Pinners come to Pinterest when actively considering what to purchase, the company says. Pinners also regularly turn to the platform to seek out particular lip styles, whether that’s something more traditional like “glossy lips” or “pink lips,” or trendier styles like “ombre lip” or “black lipstick,” for example — all of which were top lip searches in 2019.

The company says it started “Try on” with lipstick because it’s one of the most searched beauty-related items on the site. We should point out, it’s also easier to develop technology to virtually try on lipstick than some other makeup items, though.

Pinterest says lipstick will be followed by more Try on-enabled beauty products and categories in the future.

Pinterest is not the first to launch a virtual makeup experience. YouTube last year debuted an AR Try-On experience that allowed viewers to virtually try on makeup (also initially lipstick) while watching video reviews on its site. But that feature isn’t broadly available across videos as it was offered as an option for brands working with YouTube’s FameBit division as a way to market their makeup via YouTube influencers, not a core YouTube feature.

Other virtual makeup experiences include AR beauty apps like YouCam MakeupSephora’s Virtual Artist,  or Ulta’s GLAMLab; as well as selfie editors like FaceApp, Perfect365, Facetune, and others. L’Oréal also offers Live Try-On on its website, and had partnered with Facebook last year to bring virtual makeup to the site. In addition, Target’s online Beauty Studio offers virtual makeup across a number of brands and products.

In Pinterest’s case, however, the idea is to capture shoppers’ attention before they know what brand or shade they want to buy, then let them experiment with different shades until they find the right fit. The larger goal is to attract shoppers to Pinterest before they’re ready to type in a brand name on Amazon or Google, so they’ll instead find their way directly to the retailer’s site through Pinterest instead.

However, Try on is not an advertising product for Pinterest nor is there a revenue share on sales it inspires. Instead, Pinterest will continue to monetize through advertising. That said, the new feature is meant to draw in users who are ready to shop. And this, in turn, drives engagement for those brands investing in ads on Pinterest.

Participating brands may receive insights on the performance of their shopping features, like Try on. But they’re not collecting personal data. We understand the information about engagement and conversion is used in aggregate to make relevant recommendations to Pinterest users. (And users can also disable personalization from their Settings, if they choose.)

The launch of Try arrives as Google finds itself inching further into Pinterest’s territory with recent updates to its competitive bookmarking tool called “Collections,” as well as with its new Shopping vertical, which includes its own smart camera, Google Lens.

The new Try on feature is launching today on Pinterest in the U.S., on both iOS and Android mobile. The feature will later expand internationally as well as to more platforms.

TechCrunch

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Google December Product Reviews Update Affects More Than English Language Sites? via @sejournal, @martinibuster

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Google’s Product Reviews update was announced to be rolling out to the English language. No mention was made as to if or when it would roll out to other languages. Mueller answered a question as to whether it is rolling out to other languages.

Google December 2021 Product Reviews Update

On December 1, 2021, Google announced on Twitter that a Product Review update would be rolling out that would focus on English language web pages.

The focus of the update was for improving the quality of reviews shown in Google search, specifically targeting review sites.

A Googler tweeted a description of the kinds of sites that would be targeted for demotion in the search rankings:

“Mainly relevant to sites that post articles reviewing products.

Think of sites like “best TVs under $200″.com.

Goal is to improve the quality and usefulness of reviews we show users.”

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Google also published a blog post with more guidance on the product review update that introduced two new best practices that Google’s algorithm would be looking for.

The first best practice was a requirement of evidence that a product was actually handled and reviewed.

The second best practice was to provide links to more than one place that a user could purchase the product.

The Twitter announcement stated that it was rolling out to English language websites. The blog post did not mention what languages it was rolling out to nor did the blog post specify that the product review update was limited to the English language.

Google’s Mueller Thinking About Product Reviews Update

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Screenshot of Google's John Mueller trying to recall if December Product Review Update affects more than the English language

Product Review Update Targets More Languages?

The person asking the question was rightly under the impression that the product review update only affected English language search results.

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But he asserted that he was seeing search volatility in the German language that appears to be related to Google’s December 2021 Product Review Update.

This is his question:

“I was seeing some movements in German search as well.

So I was wondering if there could also be an effect on websites in other languages by this product reviews update… because we had lots of movement and volatility in the last weeks.

…My question is, is it possible that the product reviews update affects other sites as well?”

John Mueller answered:

“I don’t know… like other languages?

My assumption was this was global and and across all languages.

But I don’t know what we announced in the blog post specifically.

But usually we try to push the engineering team to make a decision on that so that we can document it properly in the blog post.

I don’t know if that happened with the product reviews update. I don’t recall the complete blog post.

But it’s… from my point of view it seems like something that we could be doing in multiple languages and wouldn’t be tied to English.

And even if it were English initially, it feels like something that is relevant across the board, and we should try to find ways to roll that out to other languages over time as well.

So I’m not particularly surprised that you see changes in Germany.

But I also don’t know what we actually announced with regards to the locations and languages that are involved.”

Does Product Reviews Update Affect More Languages?

While the tweeted announcement specified that the product reviews update was limited to the English language the official blog post did not mention any such limitations.

Google’s John Mueller offered his opinion that the product reviews update is something that Google could do in multiple languages.

One must wonder if the tweet was meant to communicate that the update was rolling out first in English and subsequently to other languages.

It’s unclear if the product reviews update was rolled out globally to more languages. Hopefully Google will clarify this soon.

Citations

Google Blog Post About Product Reviews Update

Product reviews update and your site

Google’s New Product Reviews Guidelines

Write high quality product reviews

John Mueller Discusses If Product Reviews Update Is Global

Watch Mueller answer the question at the 14:00 Minute Mark

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