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Pinterest ramps up e-commerce features

[SAN FRANCISCO] Online bulletin board Pinterest on Tuesday unveiled new features to facilitate shopping on the site, as the platform pushes to become an e-commerce hub.

The new offerings announced at the company's San Francisco headquarters include a virtual shopping bag that users can fill as they cruise bulletin boards.

"When you're ready to check out, everything you've added to your bag will be right there waiting for you," Pinterest product manager Tim Weingarten said in a blog post.

Pinterest last year dove into e-commerce with "pins" in mobile applications that let people buy items they see on bulletin boards.

The new virtual shopping bag feature is currently available on Android devices and for users visiting Pinterest on their computers.

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The company is working on making the feature available on Apple smartphones and tablets.

Other changes included revamping merchant profiles to make it easier for users to see what is new, on sale or popular.

Pinterest is also working on a feature that will allow people to search for items by aiming their phone's camera at things that catch their interest.

"Soon you'll be able to snap a photo of an object in the real world and get related recommendations on Pinterest," Mr Weingarten said.

Pinterest is a virtual bulletin board platform, with users decorating their boards with pictures showcasing interests in a variety of areas, including food, fashion and travel.

Pinterest sees itself as being positioned at the crossroads of social networking and online search, with users consulting it when seeking out products or services.

Instead of coming to Pinterest to see photos of friends, people come with "commercial intent" that puts the site in an ideal position to display native advertising for trips, clothing or other offerings, according to company president Tim Kendall.

Founded in 2010, Pinterest boasts more than 100 million users, with about 45 per cent of them outside the United States.


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