sharing social platform Pinterest is currently testing a new look, granting access to a 'select few' users before rolling out changes to in the near future. 

So far, so-so. Not a day passes without social sites tinkering with their layout or functionality, but given Pinterest's incredible performance in the realm of ecommerce referrals, this could be an important one.

Let's take a closer look...

Images: The new search.

Pinterest outlined some significant future changes over on its blog yesterday, highlighting new navigation options in particular:

This in itself is of interest given Pinterest's pervasive influence on the design of a number of sites.

The image based search may not yet be all-pervasive, but it's certainly arguable that it represents a new kind of visual search being performed by many users, one that has seen sites like Facebook and Google take steps to optimise their own image display and search options.

If Pinterest has found a way to make text navigation more intuitive then listings sites would do well to pay close attention here. 

Optimise around your images

As for the images themselves, Pins will now be larger and contain more details, so optimising copy and links will now be even more important for businesses using the platform:

As we've mentioned in the past, Pinterest usage figures are easily high enough these days to enable niche and B2B companies to run a succesful Pinterest account (Econsultancy included), but these changes mean even more of a focus on platform management will be needed.

You'll also need to ensure that you have a range of high quality images available for the site - no more sharing thumbnails or packshots.

Quality content is already a scare commodity for many, so these changes will focus users on those providing quality regularly. 

More opportunity to sell

Finally, Pinterest reveals that "on each pin, you’ll see pins from the same board, other boards this pin was pinned to, and a whole slew of related pins". 

In theory this should deepen the site's already impressive engagement figures, but for business accounts it means something more important:

Cross and up-sell opportunities

By highlighting other content and even users related to an original pin, there's an increased chance that your account will be found through a users' organic connections, and a chance to showcase more of your products, services, and even those all-important influencers who already engage with your product. 

It remains to be seen if Pinterest can maintain its initial growth rate, but by deepening engagement and value-per-visit of its enormous existing user base, Pinterest could be the dark horse of social commerce that many didn't see coming.

Matt Owen

Published 29 January, 2013 by Matt Owen

Matt Owen is a marketing consultant based in London. He was previously Head of Social at Econsultancy and currently runs Atomise Marketing. Opinions expressed are author's own.

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Comments (3)


Dorothy Allen

Thanks for your information and thanks for the way in which you delivered it ... clearly spoken and understandable.

As someone who attempts to keep up with the social network changes, I find it extremely challenging to be on top of the latest innovations being exercised by the various social media platforms. Of course, I understand the competition between these platforms and the financial benefit to the one that is considered the best.

At the same time, the individuals who have entered the social arena as a way to participate in e-commerce find themselves moving from one platform to another and/or attempting to participate in so many platforms that they actually do no good in any of them.

That statement is slightly off topic. Sorry about that. It's just that now, we have another well-thought-of platform attempting to improve upon the excellence it already possessed.

Now we have another set of directions to learn and another different process to follow. Gosh, I sound frustrated, and again, I'm sorry. I like Facebook ... I like Twitter ... I like Google + ... I loved Pinterest. What I'd wish for next Chistmas is that they'd all find a solid foundation upon which to rest and stay there long enough for all of us to catch up.

The detrimental activity of trying to adjust to the the constant changes affects any social media enthusiast and/or social marketer in a negative way. Much thought and many activities outside the social platforms are demanded of those in the realm of e-commerce. If all their time is devoted to only the social media part of planning and promoting their business, many marketing activities go unattended.

Now that I've complained and fussed and cause depression amongst your readers, I'll go on to say that I do Love Pinterest for many reasons and truly hope the powers that be don't mess it up with in an effort to recreate, with improvements, the wheel.

Again, thank you for your information. It is truly helpful.

over 5 years ago


Gareth Handa

Pinterest is one of the best things on the web today. It's social media approach is very unique and have no doubt this will go far.

over 5 years ago



Dorothy, stick to the main players in social media but try and keep an eye on what's emerging. I'm lucky that I'm able to try out and test various sites via clients which helps me in the long-term, and especially when pitching for work and when I'm presenting social media seminars.
Unfortunately too many so-called experts get too excited by new platforms without really thinking about them.
I've used and still use Pinterest and I'm still not sure of it's value; similar to Flickr many years ago, it never really took off for brands (but then again, too many brands weren't using it correctly). I also used Flickr to host client images and then directed journalist there but not once did anyone download an image.

over 5 years ago

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