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Pinterest

Pinterest continues on its quest to become the "Google of images" with the addition of three new features on Wednesday.

  • Instant ideas: When tapping on a special circular button on a "pin," Pinterest will immediately pull up ideas of recipes, decorations, or anything related to that item.
  • Shop the Look: Pinterest will pull up items that match or closely resemble those in an outfit, as well as suggestions of how to wear a piece of clothing.
  • Lens: This is like a "Shazam for images"—when a user points their camera at something, Pinterest will identify what's in the image and pull up related content.

Why it matters: Pinterest is mostly known as an online service for collecting home decor or wedding ideas, but behind the scenes the company has been developing some powerful image recognition technology. Lens, which the company warns is still very experimental, is a difficult technology.

Bottom line: In the end, everything Pinterest adds to its service is to make it more useful, co-founder and CEO Ben Silbermann tells Axios. And as a company making its money through advertising and e-commerce, Pinterest depends on more people using its service and for more use cases in their lives.

What about Snap? Like Snap, Pinterest is highly capitalized company with a consumer-facing product that's valued at over $1 billion. Though it hasn't discussed any plans to go public yet, Silbermann admits that his company is certainly watching Snap's upcoming IPO to see how it pans out.

Go deeper

Scoop: Over 200 papers take on Big Tech

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

Newspapers all over the country have been quietly filing lawsuits against Google and Facebook for the past year, alleging the two firms monopolized the digital ad market for revenue that would otherwise go to local news. 

Why it matters: What started as a small-town effort to take a stand against Big Tech has turned into a national movement, with over 200 newspapers involved across dozens of states.

Axios-Ipsos poll: Shrugging off Omicron

Expand chart
Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Note: The last question only includes 589 employed respondents; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Most Americans aren't willing to make big changes in their behavior to minimize the risk from the Omicron variant, like avoiding indoor restaurant dining or cancelling their holiday travel plans, according to a new Axios-Ipsos poll.

The big picture: The poll found support for some broader public responses, including one — travel bans aimed at people from other countries — that was widely supported by people across the political spectrum. But it found that Americans are only willing to do so much on their own.

Rohingya refugees sue Facebook over Myanmar hate speech

Internally displaced Rohingya peoples at a market area in the Baw Du Pha IDP Camp in Sittwe in Myanmar's western Rakhine state. Photo: STR/AFP via Getty Images

Rohingya refugees accused Facebook in a $150 million lawsuit filed Monday of amplifying hate speech against the persecuted minority Muslims in Myanmar via algorithms and failing to take down inflammatory posts.

Why it matters: Thousands of Rohingya Muslims have been killed in Myanmar in what the United Nations deemed a genocidal campaign. Tens of thousands of others have been displaced, notably following a massacre by Myanmar's military in 2017.