You Can Now Search Pinterest By Skin Colour, And it’s About Time

Pinterest skin tones

by Phoebe Parke |

How many times have you searched Pinterest looking for a new lipstick colour or some eyeshadow inspo, only to find shades that just don’t suit your skin tone?

Not everyone can pull off pale peach blush, bright yellow eyeshadow or bold red lipstick – and now Pinterest is acknowledging that by introducing a search function that lets you look for beauty images by skin tone.

With over 200 million people using the social media app every month, according to their latest figures, it’s a smart move to work towards becoming more inclusive and avoid alienating users.

Pinterest has acknowledged that in the past, some groups have had to ‘work harder’ to find pictures of people that look like them.

‘The majority of queries on Pinterest are less than three words, which presents an interesting serving challenge. In addition, our current ranking algorithms are heavily influenced by what the majority of people have engaged with over time. This means that some Pinners have had to work harder to find what they were looking for.’

So how will this new Pinterest skin tone search function work?

According to a detailed post on Pinterest Engineering’s Medium account, they will start off with four colour palettes to reflect different skin tones. But with so many images to scan through they admit the technology isn’t sophisticated enough to work perfectly first time, so they’ve employed the use of some AI (that’s artificial intelligence to you and I) to help out.

Using a third-party Face AI library from ModiFace (who specialise in augmented reality and machine learning for beauty applications) they were able to more accurately detect skin tones and avoid mislabelling of pictures that are dark and shadowy or extremely bright and overexposed.

Not all pinners have this function enabled as it hasn’t been rolled out to everyone yet. To find out if you have it, type ‘beauty’ in the search bar and press enter, and if you've got it you will see four different colour wheels of skin tones to choose from.

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