Google Turns Image Search Into Pinterest With New “Collections” Feature
Watch out, Pinterest, you’ve got new competition. Google has now rolled out a new feature on its search engine that offers users an easy way to save to save images they find to collections they can reference at a later time. The search giant suggests you could use the feature for saving things like hairstyle examples to show your stylist, or snowman ideas to have some winter fun. Yep – the same sort of “inspirational” content that Pinterest users often collect and pin their many boards on the service.
In Google’s case, however, the new feature is only being made available to mobile users for the time being, and is only rolling out to those in the U.S. The feature will work across all major browsers on both iOS and Android, the company says.
In order to save images, you’ll also have to be logged into your Google Account. That makes sense not only as a way to pull up your saved items from multiple devices, but also because “collections” are one of the new focus areas within Google’s revamped social efforts on Google+.
Instead of trying and failing to take on Facebook, the updated Google+ is now more interested in helping users create and participate in online communities or share groupings containing images, links and more with their circle of friends or the wider public. In other words, Google+ is now aiming to compete with social services like Reddit, perhaps, or Pinterest.
Getting users to build out personal image collections by way of Google Search is actually a fairly clever trick, then. It could kick off users’ participation in the Google+ collections feature in the future, as it presents a practical use case for building an online image collection via Google in the first place.
To be clear, Image Search collections aren’t currently tied to those collections you make on Google+, but an integration looks like a possibility further down the road.