Pinterest – A look back at 2014 – At the end of December, Pinterest opened for business by extending the Promoted Pins program to all advertisers in the US. No doubt Pinterest has a lot more in store for us in 2015. The road to Promoted Pins was preceded by regular functional updates throughout 2014. In this blog post, I look back at the updates by summarising some of the main product changes that were introduced last year.
New recipe search filters – In the quest to make pins more discoverable, a new search functionality was added to help pinners hone in on more specific types of recipes (vegetarian, gluten-free).
Animated GIFs were rolled out to spice up Pinterest content.
Unlimited Secret Boards – Woohoo! Getting rid of the restriction of 6 secret boards was excellent news. Although Pinterest is made for sharing, the secret boards are a very practical tool for a wide range of activities. Not only are they great for preparing boards before their official publication, but they can also be very useful for planning, market research, as platform for private collaboration or even for planning surprises!
A feed just for Shopping – A new Gifts feed was created, showing only Product Pins. This makes it even easier to find shopping ideas. Each product shows all the information you need to buy the product online such as the price, seller and availability of the product.
Support for UTM variables – Quantifying what percentage of your traffic comes from Pinterest is great, but understanding which content is driving that traffic is much more interesting! UTM variables complete the story of your analytics! Read this excellent article by Stephanie Liu to learn more.
A Pin It button for Tumblr, Blogger, WordPress.org and Wix. Making it easier than ever for your blog followers to pin images from your blog to Pinterest and increase the potential to expand your marketing reach.
Interests – The introduction of Interests in February, paved the way for the launch of Guided Search. Interests enabled people to explore personalised interests designed to help them find the pins they like. Whereas pins were previously organised in broad subjects such as Travel or Sports, Interests let you explore pins in sub-categories such as “Italy” or “Basketball”.
Guided Search – In April, Pinterest added serendipity to the search process by launching Guided Search for Apple and Android mobile devices. Suddenly, exploring interests on Pinterest with the new descriptive guides became even more fun! Guided Search makes it easy to hone in on specific content or discover new ideas. Be prepared to let Pinterest surprise you!
Promoted Pins – In May, Pinterest started experimenting Promoted Pins with a small group of brands. One month later, do-it-yourself Promoted Pins were made available to any US-based business to promote their pins.
A new Business Insights API was rolled out to a handful of marketing technology companies. These partnerships aim to develop complimentary data insights, such as conversion tracking capabilities, in addition to Pinterest Analytics.
Improved Pinterest Analytics – The original analytics tool only shared information about how users interact with the Pin It button installed on your website. The new version gives access to much more data, not only from your website, but also from your Pinterest Profile. It tracks which pins and boards are driving most impressions, clicks and repins. The new tool lets you see the bigger picture and shows what content drives engagement.
A new Follow button that will pop up a small dialog with a preview of your account’s latest pins was added to the range of existing Pinterest widgets. Visitors can follow your Pinterest account with a minimum of clicks and without having to leave your website. By turning the Follow button into a mini-promotion for brand content, Pinterest has also given marketers an opportunity to entice website visitors with attractive displays.
Pinterest messages allow pinners to have one-on-one or group conversations about specific pins. To send a message pinners must follow each other (to prevent message spamming). Up to 10 people can participate in a group chat. Through direct conversation on Pinterest it becomes possible for businesses to quickly build a network of brand advocates by fostering relationships with key influencers.
A new Pinterest Smart Feed was quietly introduced and has substantially changed the types and sources of pins that are displayed in home feeds. Before the update, the home feed contained only pins, in chronological order, from board and accounts you follow. Now it shows content from a range of pin sources (boards followed, interests followed, related pins) and not necessarily in chronological order.
Not all pins from followed boards will always show up in a home feed anymore. The Smart Feed algorithm decides what content is most relevant for you based on your interests, what you pin, who you follow and a weighting given to pins and pinners. If you want to learn more, I recommend you read this very helpful article by Susan Wenner-Jackson of Ahalogy.
New notifications – A News tab was added that gives a snapshot of updates from pinners and boards that you follow and also from any Facebook friends you may have on Pinterest. It sends a notification to your News tab whenever they follow new boards and pinners, they like and/or comment pins, repin content, invite you to a group board or @ mention you. If you have turned off email notifications from Pinterest, it is worth paying attention to this feature that allows you to keep an eye on engagement.
At the top of my list of favourite changes:
Unlimited Secret Boards – I use them all the time to prepare new boards, to collect, plan and privately share information.
Guided Search – I like the way it lets me hone in on specific content or to go on a journey of discovery when the mood takes me.
Pinterest Analytics – The new analytics tool is so much smarter and provides me with extremely useful pin and board performance, engagement and demographics information.
Moving & copying multiple pins – Love this one! It makes it so much easier and quicker to re-organise boards.
What are your favourite Pinterest updates? Leave me a comment. I would love to know!