Pinterest's commitment to inclusivity takes a leap forward with the test of a new consumer tool enabling users to filter specific searches by diverse body types. Initially focused on women’s fashion and wedding ideas, this feature builds upon Pinterest's recent strides in body type technology introduced earlier this year.
Utilizing innovative computer vision technology, Pinterest aims to identify and acknowledge various body shapes, sizes, and forms across its extensive library of over 5 billion images. The AI-driven system behind this consumer-facing feature aligns with Pinterest's objective to create a more inclusive search experience while fine-tuning its algorithms. This move is in response to concerns about body size discrimination, affecting millions of Americans, as highlighted by the Campaign for Size Freedom.
Megan D’Alessio, former manager of inclusion and diversity at Pinterest, shed light on the prevalent issue of body dissatisfaction, particularly among young people and women. She highlighted statistics indicating a higher percentage of adolescent girls feeling unhappy with their bodies compared to boys.
The recent spotlight on social media's impact on body image issues, stemming from disclosures by former Meta employee Frances Haugen, prompted discussions and legal actions against platforms like Instagram. Pinterest's proactive approach to address these concerns involves technological advancements aimed at diversifying body representation on its platform. Their suite of "inclusive AI" efforts, including skin tone ranges and hair pattern search filters, has already amplified body type representation in women's fashion searches in the U.S. by fivefold.
The test of the body type filter tool for search is now rolling out to Pinterest users, offering the ability to refine searches for women’s fashion or wedding ideas based on diverse body types. This feature not only enhances search diversity but also aims to boost engagement. Previous initiatives, such as the skin tone range filter, led to a substantial increase in user engagement, indicating a positive response from users.
Sabrina Ellis, Pinterest’s chief of product, emphasized the company's commitment to fostering a more positive online environment through these advancements. Although still in its early testing phase, Pinterest looks forward to evolving towards a more personalized and inclusive user experience, with further enhancements and insights on the horizon.