November 28, 2015

Pinterest Acquires VisualGraph, An Image Recognition and Visual Search Provider

In Their Own Words

VisualGraphVisualGraph’s web site says the company offers an, “image-analysis development platform for photo-based applications.”

From a Note on the VisualGraph Web Site:

Not all images are created equal: while billions of photos are shared everyday, only a portion of them (e.g. arts & crafts, trending designs) has the potential to motivate, captivate and inspire large number of people. If all the worlds’ images were connected as a graph in some way, these would be the most special nodes.

Our mission at VisualGraph is to connect these inspirational images together. While a single image can captivate and inspire, a network of connected images allows for inspiration, exploration and discovery at scale. Our approach is to combine the state-of-the-art machine vision tools, such as object recognition (e.g. shoes, faces), with large-scale distributed search and machine learning infrastructures.

And today we couldn’t be more excited to announce that we are joining Pinterest!

From The Next Web:

Started by former Google employee Kevin Jing along with David Liu, VisualGraph has been searching for ways to better connect the billions of photos and images together. It believes that by combining its “state-of-the-art machine vision tools” with large-scale distributed search and machine learning infrastructures, it’ll be able to help people find all the images that are inspirational.

Pinterest isn’t just getting VisualGraph’s technology, but also its founders as well that have a rather notable resume. Jing helped build Google’s first machine vision application back in the early 2000s and Liu spent time at Google, Facebook, and Palantir working as an intern as he completed his computer science degree at Stanford.

This VisualGraph page (cached copy via Wayback) lists a few of the ways their technology can be used:

  • Face Detection, Recognition
  • Product Recommendation
  • Visual Search
  • Pornography Filtering

Another Visual Graph web page (cached copy via Wayback) notes:

Our “Visual Graph” connects Web’s visual contents together through deep image analysis such as face recognition, object recognition and shape/color analysis.  It is constantly expanding, massive data-structure, and through our API, our partner websites can better understand and use their visual-contents.

Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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