Pinning Its Hopes On Innovation: Pinterest’s Changes Signal Growth

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February 1, 2013 ‐ By Kimberly Maul
From the Pinterest homepage

From the Pinterest homepage

Visually-focused social network Pinterest has already been making some changes in 2013. The “virtual pinboard” introduced business pages in November 2012 and has been working to make the site more about discovery and usability.

In addition to the introduction of a “news” section to help users discover other users and boards they want to follow, Pinterest also announced in a blog post that it is testing an overall new look for the site with improved navigations and larger images. A small group of users will have access to the new site before it goes out to all users.

This is a way to encourage users to spend more time browsing on the site, building the engagement necessary to attract brands. This shows maturity for Pinterest, which had reached 28 million users as of December 2012, according to comScore. But as more retailers and brands join the site, especially with the new business pages and tools, Pinterest needs to get these 28 million users to engage even more with the site.

Additionally, analytics platforms especially for Pinterest have surfaced in recent months, and are also maturing. Pinfluencer and Curalate, two of the better-known Pinterest analytics companies, both now have image recognition software on their platforms, helping with attribution on the site. This is another sign of the evolution of Pinterest from a time-wasting image site to something that provides real value for both brands and users.

As for those users, black women are a rising portion of the Pinterest-using population. Back in the summer, The Daily Dot published tips for maximizing your presence on the social network. “Quotes and pics are M-O-N-E-Y on Pinterest. Use sites likes PinWords.com to allow you to push out a high impact message with ease and you’ll be repinned like crazy,” said social media strategist Mike Street.

After Pinterest is able to build the tools that businesses want, and keep users engaged with the site, then the next step is monetization. Whether that comes in the form of advertising or a connection to ecommerce remains to be seen. But for now, Pinterest continues to be a top social site to watch.

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