Pinterest Lens: The Search Tool That Will Change Your Life

Pinterest. It’s the land of inspiration, where you can easily stroll around for hours. There are ideas behind every perfectly decorated corner, beautiful photography through each arched window, and calligraphed quotes that awaken the hidden poet inside. I sometimes wish I could take this world of constant inspiration with me everywhere.

The next Pinterest tool I’m going to explain to you comes close to that. I shared about the Visual Search Tool in this post, which allows you to search for visually related Pins or elements of a Pin you like.

The next Visual Search Tool is called Pinterest Lens. This tool searches for Pins based on a photo that you take with your phone. 

This is how you use the Image Search using the Pinterest Lens.

Screenshot of a Pinterest feed

Step 1. 

In your mobile Pinterest app, you will find a little camera icon on the right side of your search bar. If you can’t find it, make sure you’re in the Home tab by selecting the Pinterest icon in the bottom left corner. 

Screenshot of the Pinterest Lens tool camera function

Step 2. 

Clicking on this little camera icon will open the Pinterest Lens. If you haven’t done so already, make sure you’ve given the Pinterest app permission to use your phone’s camera in Settings. 

Photo of beautiful ceramic bowl stacked against a white background
Screenshot of a Pinterest app looking for a photo related to ceramic bowl

Step 3. 

Point the camera towards the home decor object, shoes, meal, plant or painting that you want to search for. Place it within the circle on the screen and take the photo. 

Screenshot of the search results of the Pinterest Lens tool

Step 4. 

Wait as Pinterest finds visually related images for you. You can browse through the results, or go back to take a different photo to get exactly what you’re looking for.

Bonus Tips: 

  • Sometimes it helps to take a step back and take a wider photo, or to take the photo as a close-up. A well-lit object, preferably in daylight, will give you the best search results.

  • If you’re looking to buy a similar object, try taking a picture of it against a plain, bright background. This gives you the biggest chance to find “shoppable” Pins that link to an online store. 

  • The keywords, listed in bold colours at the top of your visual search results, will likely tell you the name, the style or even the brand of the object you just took a photo of. 


How you might use this Visual Search Tool: 

  • You’re walking through an exhibition or museum and fall in love with a work of art, but you don’t know the artist. If permitted, take a photo with the Pinterest Lens and find out!

  • You see a unique plant in your favourite coffee shop and would love one for your living room, too. Take a photo of it through the Pinterest Lens to discover the name of the plant. This doesn’t always work perfectly, but it has worked for me in the past. 

Bonus Tip:

I use an app called Tailwind to manage my Pinterest, to be a part of “Tribes” of similar profiles that share each other’s content and to schedule pins in advance. I highly recommend it, especially if you use Pinterest as a blogger or creative entrepreneur!

I’ll warn you, with the discovery of the Pinterest Lens, you’ll probably fall even more in love with Pinterest, but you’ll find more inspiration around every corner of the real world, too.

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