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

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 4:15 p.m. ET: 32,381,243 — Total deaths: 985,104 — Total recoveries: 22,285,437Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 4:15 p.m ET: 7,015,242 — Total deaths: 203,329 — Total recoveries: 2,710,183 — Total tests: 98,481,026Map.
  3. States: "We’re not closing anything going forward": Florida fully lifts COVID restaurant restrictions — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus.
  4. Health: Young people accounted for 20% of cases this summer.
  5. Business: Coronavirus has made airports happier places The expiration of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance looms.
  6. Education: Where bringing students back to school is most risky.
Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

White House pushes to uphold TikTok ban

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The U.S. Department of Justice on Friday filed legal opposition to TikTok's request to delay a ban on downloading the app, with a federal judge in Washington scheduling a hearing on the request for Sunday morning.

Why it matters: The White House could have simply postponed the ban on its own for another week or two, as it did last Friday. This move suggests it's seeking to use the ban as leverage in ongoing negotiations.

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Substack and the future of media

Traditional media models, and even some of the digital ones, are either under pressure or outright broken. Some journalists have responded by going out on their own, leveraging a new group of startups that help them self-publish and monetize their work.

Axios Re:Cap digs in with Chris Best, CEO of Substack, which has more than 250,000 paying subscribers on its writer network.

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