Representation online matters: practical end-to-end diversification in search and recommender systems


Pinterest is a platform designed to bring everyone the inspiration to create a life they love. This is not only our company’s core mission but something that has become increasingly important in today’s interconnected world. As technology becomes increasingly integrated into the daily lives of billions of people globally, it is crucial for online platforms to reflect the diverse communities they serve. Improving representation online can facilitate content discovery for a more diverse user base by reflecting their inclusion on the platform. This, in turn, demonstrates the platform’s ability to meet their needs and preferences. In addition to improved user experience and satisfaction, this can have a positive business impact through increased engagement, retention, and trust in the platform.

In this post, we show how we improved diversification on Pinterest for three different surfaces: Search, Related Products, and New User Homefeed. Specifically, we have developed and deployed scalable diversification mechanisms that utilize a visual skin tone signal to support representation of a wide range of skin tones in recommendations, as shown in Figure 1 for fashion recommendations in the Related Products surface.



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