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Pinterest is making some big changes to its ranking algorithm to ensure users see a variety of content in their home feed. 

Pinterest uses a ranking model which highlights content based on a click-through prediction model. What this means, is that the platform surfaces content it believes a user is most likely to click on, based on their past activity.

Although this model works to ensure users are only seeing content that is relevant and interesting to them, it can create a negative feedback loop which can limit the types of content shown. 

For example, if a user goes a while without clicking on videos, the algorithm will stop showing videos. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that person doesn’t like videos. There are a number of reasons they may have avoided videos for a period, including irrelevant content and not being in a place where it is convenient to watch videos. 

To account for this issue, Pinterest created what a new system which it is calling “controllable distribution.”

What is Controllable Distribution?

In the announcement, Pinterest clarifies that controllable distribution isn’t an entire overhaul of its ranking algorithm. Technically, it isn’t part of the core ranking system at all. 

Instead, controllable distribution is a ranking system applied after the core home feed algorithm to diversify feed content. 

This will ensure that specific content ratios are present in users’ feeds which may have become monotonous.

The system does this by comparing the types of content in your unadjusted feed with a specified ratio and adding new types of content for users which may otherwise be lacking. 

Most importantly, the company says this system can be implemented smoothly while still respecting users’ preferences. 

Pinterest expanded its online shopping capabilities this week to make it easier to find and buy products across the platform. The updates to three core parts of its commerce marketing services make its tools more accessible and provide real-time tracking of what’s in stock with which retailers.

Shop What’s In Stock

Users can now shop in-stock fashion or home decor products in multiple ways across the platform.

The most notable change is a new “Shop” tab which will appear on search and on boards to help filter in-stock products from retailers. The tab will also help filter based on price and brands available from retailers.

When it appears on boards, the Shop tab will highlight products from or inspired by the Pins saved within users’ home decor or fashion boards.

Visual Search

Pinterest is integrating its visual search functionality with shoppable Pins to make it easier to find products directly from your feed.

Style Guides

Home decor style guides are now findable using Pinterest’s search tools. These are curated collections based around specific styles such as “mid-century” or “farmhouse” and appear at the top of search results for queries like “living room ideas.”

Pinterest has released its yearly Halloween report for 2019, detailing what costumes, content, and creepy festivities are getting the most attention leading up to the big day. 

Pinterest is one of the most popular social platforms for Halloween content ahead of the holiday, with tens of millions of Halloween-related boards available. 

For the report, the company analyzed searches across its platform throughout the past year. 

While it covers the obvious inclusions like costume and makeup ideas, the report also reveals a wide range of Halloween-themed ideas, including searches related to tattoos, wedding, games, and more. 

Top Costumes for Those Identifying as Female

  • Powerpuff Girls
  • Pirate
  • Circus
  • Stranger Things
  • Alien
  • Mermaid
  • Harley Quinn
  • 80’s costume
  • Poison Ivy
  • Alice in Wonderland

Top Costumes for Those Identifying as Male

  • Superhero
  • Viking
  • Spider-Man
  • Joker
  • Jedi
  • Animal
  • Circus
  • Pirate
  • Mad Max
  • Robot

Top Trending Singles Costumes

  • Alien (+659%)
  • Gwen Stacy from Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (+446%)
  • Elton John (+442%)
  • Space Cowboy (+359%)
  • Freddie Mercury (+145%)

Top Trending Costumes for Pairs

  • Lilo and Stitch (+1205%)
  • Timon and Pumba (+154%)
  • Woody and Bo Peep (+836%)
  • Velma and Daphne (+274%)
  • Pulp Fiction Couples Costume (+384%)

Top Trending Group Costumes 

  • Stranger Things (+653%)
  • The Powerpuff Girls (+379%)
  • The Lion King (+283%)
  • Alassin family costumes (+176%)
  • Toy Story (+151%)

See more from the report, including the most popular searches for Halloween-themed makeup, party, and snack ideas here.

Pinterest is changing things up in a major way for brands, with an all-new design for business profiles and an entirely new ad format.

New Business Profile Design

Pinterest’s new design for business profiles puts the focus directly on dynamic content and a central view of product pins. 

Specifically, brand profiles will now include:

A dedicated Shop tab for showing users your products directly within your profile

The ability to customize profile covers with either videos or images

A streamlines navigation system making it easier to access messaging features

‘Shop the Look’ Ads

Since the launch of ‘Shop the Look’ pins, retailers have been flocking to the organic posts to showcase a wide array of their products in a single image. 

Now, Pinterest is allowing these brands to turn these organic pins into shoppable ads which can promote up to 25 products at a time. 

When these ads first appear, users will see a showcase previewing up to four items, which can be expanded to show the rest. 

‘Shop the Look’ ads are expected to roll out to US advertisers in the next few months.

Pinterest has launched several new features aimed at making it easier for businesses to share and manage their videos on the platform. 

Businesses now have access to a new video upload tool which simplifies the upload process, a new tab within their profile solely dedicated to videos, and a new analytics tool which gives a long-term view of how your videos are performing. 

On top of all of this, Pinterest has also expanded its Pin Scheduler tool to allow businesses to schedule posting video content in advance. 

The Big Picture

While these new tools signal Pinterest’s devotion to improving its video offerings, it also signals a larger shift for the company. 

Pinterest has typically lagged behind other social networks when it comes to tools or features aimed at businesses. Over the last year, however, the company has paid significantly more attention to these areas by expanding its advertising tools, launching new e-commerce features, and, now, making video content more feasible. 

In the announcement of the new features, CEO and founder of Tastemade, Larry Fitzgibbon echoed this sentiment and expressed just how effective sharing videos on the platform can be:

“As early adopters to video on Pinterest, Tastemade has successfully driven over one billion video views and 200 million engagements year-to-date, while growing our following 100% year-over-year,” said Tastemade CEO and Founder Larry Fitzgibbon, “It’s clear that Pinterest users are hungry for videos that are both entertaining and actionable.”

Pinterest also says that videos on the site outperform videos on other social networks because their platform is more likely to resurface content over time.

Pinterest is making it easier for brands and consumers to connect with a number of new tools aimed at getting more products in front of interested viewers.

“Shop a Brand”

The company announced a slew of new updates designed to improve personalized results for users and make browsing products and brands better than ever.

“These updates help retailers get in front of customers who are looking for related products, and Pinners to see items that match their unique style and taste,” the company said in its announcement. 

Personalized Recommendations

Here’s the quick breakdown of all the new features:

  • Shop a brand: “A new dedicated section from retailers is starting to roll out beneath Product Pins. You’ll soon be able to dive into a brand’s catalog by clicking ‘more from [brand]’.”
  • Personalized shopping recommendations: “Alongside style, home, beauty and DIY boards, you’ll see in-stock ideas related to what you’ve been saving, to match your style. Just click ‘more ideas’ then the shopping tag to start shopping ideas picked for you. Tap + to quickly add the Pin to your board, or click the Pin to go straight to checkout on the retailer’s site. “
  • Catalogs: “Brands can now upload their full catalog to Pinterest and easily turn their products into dynamic Product Pins, which means more shoppable Pins across Pinterest. A new dashboard allows businesses to organize their feed so their products can be discovered and purchased by Pinners.”
  • Shopping Ads: “We’re making Shopping Ads available to all businesses through our self-serve tool Ads Manager. Once products are on Pinterest, brands can easily promote items from their existing product feed with Shopping Ads.”
  • Shopping search: “With more in-stock Product Pins, there are more products to search. Just search for a product like ‘midi skirt’, ‘men’s watches’ or ‘outdoor furniture’ and shopping results appear on the top of home feed. To start shopping, click ‘see more’.”

Pinterest Promoted Carousel Ads

Pinterest has launched a new ad format that gives advertisers the ability to promote up to 5 different products with a single ad.

The new “Promoted Carousel” ads combine 5 normal ad posts into a single ad unit, which will let viewers swipe through products or different ad experiences.

The format is built with unique slides, where each can have its own image, title, description, and landing page.

The most obvious benefit of these ads would be to highlight several different products at the same time, but advertisers could also craft these ads around highlighting different aspects of a single product.

Pins in these Promoted Carousel ads appear like any other pin, but users can swipe through each image and enlarge a specific card for a full-screen experience.

In the announcement, Pinterest says the new ads can help brands effectively raise awareness of their products and improve ad performance with better traffic results and conversions.

“This format can present a product’s numerous features, drive additional purchases by showing multiple items in a Pin or increase awareness with a multi-image brand story.”

Those given early access to Promoted Pins affirm this, saying they have seen improvements in:

  • Brand awareness
  • Ad awareness and association
  • Ad performance
  • Engagement Rates

Promoted Carousel ads began rolling out late last week and are now available for all businesses utilizing Pinterest’s self-serve ad platform.

Pinterest is expanding its Shop the Look Pins to all business accounts.

 

Shop the Look Pins aren’t exactly a new type of Pin but instead is a tool that allows businesses to tag products in photos to provide a seamless shopping experience.

The tool was previously exclusive to big brands who purchased advertising through third-party services like Pinterest Marketing Partners Olapic and Curalate. Now, however, all brands can add Shop the Look Pins through a self-serve tool.

Shop the Look Pins appear as simple white dots which can be moved to ensure they are always helping add information without blocking the product itself. When a user clicks one of the dots, it will expand to provide extra information such as pricing, availability, and a link to immediately purchase the product.

While the company didn’t release specific data about the effectiveness of Shop the Look Pins so far, it believes the new tool will help drive engagement and encourage conversions for businesses.

To help reinforce that point, the company said that of its 250 million monthly users, approximately two-thirds have engaged with new products from businesses. More than 90% say they use Pinterest to plan their future purchases, making them a prime audience for brands.

The company also noted that Pins have a significantly longer lifespan than most social media content which loses inertia after several days, if not hours. Pinterest claims that Pins can drive significant engagement for up to 120 days.

One could argue social media has always been a popularity contest based on friend-counts and likes, but Pinterest is making it even more explicit thanks to some new changes to business profiles.

The most notable change is the addition of a monthly viewer statistic that can be seen by everyone, not just your account administrators. The feature will show the total number of people who saw your business’s pins over the past 30 days.

The addition of a view count is likely to provide a more reliable estimate of just how prominent a page is. While followers can easily be bought or acquired with bots, views are a little trickier to misrepresent.

However, many might say this gives an unfair advantage to businesses who advertise through promoted pins.

In addition to the view count, Pinterest is also introducing the ability for business profiles to include dynamic cover images that highlight specific content relevant to users. That can include individual pins or entire boards.

Pinterest says the changes will be rolling out over the next couple months, so keep your eyes out for more news about how monthly viewer statistics may affect your Pins.

Pinterest is expanding their platform – directly into Facebook’s. Hoping to create some synergy that will bring in new users, Pinterest is launching new features directly available from Facebook’s Messenger.

The new features, built around a chatbot for Messenger, make it possible to use Pinterest without ever having to actually open Pinterest.

According to Pinterest, the move is actually just capitalizing on the social platform’s already existing presence on the site. Each week, nearly 1 million pins have been shared from Pinterest across Messenger before the launch of the cross-platform features.

Pinterest’s Facebook Chatbot

Pinterest’s new chatbot will allow users to browse Pinterest’s site and content with guided advice and recommendations. When you start a conversation with the chatbot, it will ask you to choose from a list of categories – such as “trending,” “food,” and “home.” Based on your choice, the bot will then show you a carousel of pins from that category.

You can also directly search Pinterest with text queries, however, you can not use the platform’s visual search technology by sending in pictures for similar pins.

While users might find this service to be a useful way to quickly find the pins they are most interested in, advertisers might be disgruntled to learn that the Chatbot will not include Promoted Pins.

Native Pins for Messenger

In the past, when you clicked on a pin that was shared on Messenger it would automatically open in Pinterest’s site or app. Now, pins will open within Messenger itself, thanks to the Chat Extensions feature.

Facebook’s Chat Extensions feature is designed to allow users to interact with content from other brand’s sites or apps without leaving messenger, therefore also making it easier to share that content again within Messenger.

Pinterest is using this to deliver Pins directly to users on Messenger, as well as including a gallery of Related Pins and a search bar to find more pins.

With these, users will be able to find and share pins within Messenger without ever having to leave the conversation they are having with their friends.

Interestingly, Facebook is also allowing Pinterest to generate revenue with this chat extensions. If a person’s Facebook account is connected to their Pinterest account, Pinterest will also include Promoted Pins within the Related Pins section and search results shown through the chat extension.