eBay is adding visual search to its mobile app

It's eBay's answer to Pinterest's visual search tool.

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Mariella Moon
July 26, 2017 8:00 AM
In this article: app, ebay, gear, mobile, shopping

Next time you see a cute pair of shoes or a cool shirt you'd like to buy, snap a picture or take a screenshot. eBay has just announced two new features that adds image search capabilities, similar to Pinterest's visual search tool, to its mobile app. "Find It On eBay" gives you the power to share images straight from any social network or website to the online shopping platform's application. Just choose the website's logo with the "Find it now" tag line, click "search using this image" when it pops up and highlight the part of the photo you want to look up.

The other feature that's simply called "Image Search" gives you the power to look for items using photos you've taken or saved on your device. Both tools make it much easier to find listings when you're looking for something really specific or looking up something you have no idea how to describe -- hey, it happens to everyone.

eBay says its deep learning-based neural network processes the images you upload and gives its system a representation of the item you're looking for. The website then compares that representation to its listings, ranks the results based on visual similarities and presents you the top-ranking items for sale.

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Not now

You'll have to wait a bit before you can take the features for a spin, though: eBay isn't rolling them out until the fall. Plus, while Image Search will be available on Android and iOS devices, Find it on eBay will be exclusive to Android users.

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eBay is adding visual search to its mobile app