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Pinterest picks up San Francisco's image-recognition startup VisualGraph

January 7
4:02 AM 2014

Pinterest has acquired VisualGraph, according to a Pinterest spokeswoman. VisualGraph is a two-person startup specializing in visual search. The terms of the acquisition deal were not disclosed, wrote The Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

The purchase signifies an increasing demand for engineers specializing in computer vision. This is a technology that assists computers in recognizing people and objects in photos and videos. In 2012, Facebook acquired Face.com for quick identification of people in uploaded photos. Just last year, Yahoo bought LookFlow to work on its image-sharing site Flickr, the report explained.

One of VisualGraph's team members is David Liu, a computer science graduate from Stanford. Kevin Jing, another team member, is a Google veteran who contributed in the development of the search giant's image search applications. The spokeswoman said Jing will head a new visual discovery team at Pinterest, the report detailed.

Right now, Pinterest still does not have a system for photo tagging. With the VisualGraph technology, the site could automatically identify items and facilitate easier search in the future. This could also help the photo pinning social site in tailoring ads based on what users pin, WSJ reported.

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