Pinterest Trials Tool to Broaden Body Type Inclusivity in Search Results

Pinterest is expanding its efforts to ensure inclusivity in its product by testing a new tool that allows users to filter select searches by different body types. This feature, initially targeted at women’s fashion and wedding ideas, builds on Pinterest’s body type technology announced earlier this year.

The technology employs computer vision to identify various body types across the extensive image database on Pinterest’s platform. Pinterest aims to make its search more inclusive and reshape its algorithms, addressing the documented harms of body size discrimination. According to the Campaign for Size Freedom, approximately 34 million Americans were impacted by this type of discrimination in 2019.

Megan D’Alessio, Pinterest’s manager of inclusion and diversity, noted that body dissatisfaction is prevalent, particularly among young people, with a significantly higher impact on women compared to men.

The potential impact of social media on body image concerns has been a subject of debates following revelations from former Meta employee Frances Haugen. Pinterest’s proactive approach in developing technology to enhance the representation of diverse body types on its platform aims to address these concerns.

In addition to its body type technology, Pinterest’s inclusive AI efforts have included skin tone ranges and hair pattern search filters. The platform notes a significant improvement in the representation of different body types on women’s fashion-related searches in the U.S. following these developments.

The tool is currently being tested and allows users to search for women’s fashion or wedding ideas and refine results by body types. Pinterest anticipates that this feature will not only enhance search result diversity but also drive increased engagement on the platform, similar to the positive impact observed with the skin tone range filter.

Sabrina Ellis, Pinterest’s Chief of Product, expressed the company’s commitment to fostering a more positive internet through these developments and emphasized that they are still in the early stages of testing.

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