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Brief Published: 2 May 2018

Pinterest’s New Inclusive Search Tool


Online social scrapbooking and discovery platform Pinterest has introduced a new search feature for its 200 million monthly users. It now promotes inclusive values by filtering beauty-related content by skin tone.

When users search for a beauty term, four colour wheels containing light, medium, tan or dark tones appear as filters. They can then select the closest combination of shades to their own complexion to reveal more personalised results. The tool uses artificial intelligence powered by Canadian augmented reality company ModiFace, which generates search results that reflect the digitally built “paint chips” representing each skin tone.

The tool taps into consumers’ enthusiasm for broader skin tone representation in the beauty industry. Cult colour cosmetics brands Fenty Beauty and Huda Beauty are good examples of companies that are getting it right. Both brands acknowledged the diversity of their consumer bases by launching foundation ranges with up to 40 shades. For more on how this key strategy is explored across different categories, see Inclusive Beauty: 5 Key Lessons, Diversity Rules and Culture Guardians.

In addition, the influence of social media should not be ignored – 89% of active Pinterest users claim the platform offers valuable product suggestions (Pinterest, 2017). We believe the development of this new feature reduces barriers for people of colour and diversifies their product choices. For more on this, see Social Media Beauty: Power to the People  and Next-Gen Beauty Marketing