PinPointing on Pinterest
For all of Pinterest's addicting advantages, the site is disappointingly difficult to shop from. Zappos tries to help with a new PinPointing app that suggests products based on Pinterest pins.
I might as well have a Pinterest board called "Stuff I want to buy, but can't because I have no idea where it came from." For example: this necklace, these shoes, this coat. Unfortunately most pins on the site leave out any information you could use to track down an item. Things like product names, useful hyperlinks, and even designers are generally absent in favor of descriptions like "romantic flowy blouse" and "skirt + stripes."
Hoping to remedy this annoying issue, Zappos created PinPointing, a website that generates shopping suggestions based on a user's Pinterest boards. Choose any Pinterest user by typing in their username and PinPointing will create a page of recommended products based (somewhat loosely) on their pins. You can then click on a suggested item and either pin it to your own board or view it on the Zappos website.
It's a great idea—in theory—but in practice, not so much. When I typed my username into PinPointing, the site generated vague categories like "orange," based on a photo of some orange sorbet, and "jeans," with mostly suggestions of men's jeans. I tried it with other Pinterest users like Lauren Conrad, whose pin of a Fifty Shades of Grey–inspired costume produced a bunch of photos of men's shirts. The website works better when creating boards based on brand names, but that's not exactly the help we're looking for.
There are definitely some kinks to be worked out, but it's a start. I'd love to see PinPointing pair up with a service like Google Images or a larger retailer to give users more accurate suggestions. For now, though, I'll just keep wondering who makes this yellow dress. Anyone?