Pinterest co-founders on the launch of Lens

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Pinterest

Pinterest calls itself “the world’s catalog of ideas,” and now the visual search engine is launching another way for users to tap into that catalog: Pinterest Lens. It allows people to take a picture of an object and discover related products or ideas.

“So many times you see things and you just can’t come up with the words for it, but you know it when you see it, and that’s the idea behind Pinterest Lens,” Pinterest co-founder Ben Silbermann said Thursday on “CBS This Morning. “Anything you see can be a jumping off point to find new ideas.”

Founded in March 2010, Pintrest now has 150 million monthly active users who log on to discover places to travel, products to buy and recipes to cook. In all, users have collected more than 75 billion “pins” on 1.5 billion personal Pinterest boards.

Asked how Pinterest competes against search engines like Google, co-founder Evan Sharp explained the difference.

“Google’s great for facts, for questions that have a very specific answer. And we think of ourselves as a place to go when you have a subject of question. Like what am I going to eat? What am I going to wear? What should my house look like? Questions for which the right answer is specific to you,” Sharp said.

About 70 percent of Pinterest users are women, but Sharp said men are the fastest-growing demographic for the company today.

Silbermann, who loved to collect bugs as a child, and Evan started building Pinterest with the simple question: “Why isn’t there a great way to collect things on the internet?”

When users purchase products through Pinterest, Evan said the company does not take a cut.

“We don’t because to us helping you buy things is just a way to making it more useful for users, rather than a revenue source,” he said.

That’s something they take pride in.

“What really motivates us is taking technology and making it solve real human problems. Everyday problems. I’m really proud of the fact that we do that for hundreds of millions of people,” Evans said.