Pinterest announced Monday it has acquired image-search startup VisualGraph to better understand what users are pinning and to ramp up the social network's discovery features. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
VisualGraph founder Kevin Jing's background includes almost a decade of work in large-scale machine vision, and he also helped build some of Google's first machine-vision applications. In his new role, Jing will lead the visual-discovery team at Pinterest. VisualGraph's other employee, David Liu, will also join the company's engineering team.
"We are excited for the opportunity to combine machine vision with human vision and curation, and to build a visual discovery experience that is both aesthetically appealing and immensely useful for people everywhere," the company said on its website announcing the acquisition.
Pinterest has stressed its utility as a discovery engine, with the interests of more than 70 million users. "The magic moment for a lot of people who use Pinterest is they see something they really like and that’s an entry point where they find things they didn’t know what they were looking for," CEO Ben Silbermann said at Fast Company's Innovation Uncensored conference in November.