eBay app gets new Image Search feature

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eBay has revealed developments to mobile eBay app that will help shoppers find similar items for sale using image search.

There’s an easier way to find more of what you love on eBay. It’s as simple as dragging and dropping images into the search bar as you shop on our mobile app.

When we introduced Image Search last year, we used computer vision to make it easier to find like items from the world around you in our global marketplace. Now, you can explore our marketplace further with just a swipe of your finger. As we continue to make the entire internet shoppable using computer vision, we’re evolving the search experience on eBay to help you more easily find what you want.

Starting in August, our new visual shopping feature allows you to drag an image to the search bar to find more items that look like the image that you love.
– Seema Jethani, Product Lead, Search Platform & Venkat Medapati, Product Lead, Buyer Engagement & Discovery, eBay

To get a better idea of what the new feature will offer, check out this promotional video. And we look forward to assessing quite how well it works in the wild when it rolls out to the eBay app in the next few weeks.

Jethani explains exactly how the new system works in a further comment, that may be of interest to merchants:

Behind the scenes, when you submit your image in the search field, the neural network converts your image into a vector representation. Then, the vector representation of the image that you submit is compared against more than 1.1 billion live listings in eBay’s marketplace, using nearest neighbor search. Finally, we surface the best-matched items, ranked by visual similarity.
– Seema Jethani, eBay

The new visual shopping feature will be available in the eBay app for Android and iOS in the United States, the UK, Germany and Australia at some point in August. They say they will be further developing the technology in the weeks and months to come so expect further developments.

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