Could Google’s New Star Feature For Images Challenge Pinterest?
New bookmarking option for Google Images is only available on a personal account level, but there is social sharing potential down the road.
Did Google just take aim at Pinterest? The search giant announced a new photo bookmarking feature within mobile versions of Google Images with a description that sounds very similar to a certain digital scrapbooking site:
The perfect image of your next big adventure, knitting project or style-changing haircut is bound to exist somewhere out there. But what happens once you find the image? Take a screenshot? Maybe try to save the webpage? Starting today there is an easier option: you can now star and bookmark images directly from Google’s image search in your mobile browser.
Just like on Pinterest, you can return to photos — and the pages on which you found them — that you have bookmarked. And just as with Pinterest Boards, you can create groups of similar items. Google is calling them Collections.
Unlike, Pinterest, however, all this activity is personal to the user. There’s no way to share your choices with friends and there’s no way for people to follow what you are doing, so it would be premature to consider the new feature a full-fledged challenger to Pinterest.
In fact, Pinterest is increasingly being seen as an emerging competitor to Google in search, and recently visual search, where it has the advantage of being able to tie user data to the more than 50 billion Pins on the network.
Google’s new image bookmarking option could give the company similar data. Google also could add social tools to bookmarking, given that its social network Google+ also has a feature called Collections — which does allow for following and sharing. Earlier this month, Google revamped Google+ to focus on giving people the ability to communicate around shared interests, and it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine a linkage between the two Collections at some point in the future.
The new image feature is available today for US users on all major mobile browsers on both Android and iOS.