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Pinterest is introducing new ways for brands and users to make money on the site through easy-to-setup affiliate links. 

By turning “idea pins” into shoppable pins, users can earn a commission when other users buy products included in the pin. 

The process is as easy as toggling a button at the top of the pin creation page and tagging the products in your pin. 

The social network and brands have had large success with shoppable pins since their launch – especially when other users have shared shoppable content. 

According to Pinterest’s data, users are 89% more likely to show shopping intent on idea posts with products tagged compared to standard product pins. Engagement is also nine times higher on idea pins compared to traditional pins. 

What Are Idea Pins

Idea Pins were introduced earlier this year and allow brands to share multi-page video posts similar to “Stories” found on other platforms except they do not disappear after a period of time. 

Idea Pins allow for:

  • Video recording and editing for up to 20 pages of content
  • Voice over recording
  • Music selection by Epidemic Sound
  • Ghost mode transition tools (perfect for those before-and-afters!)
  • Detail pages for instructions or ingredients
  • Interactive elements like people tagging and stickers
  • Multi-draft save so Creators can publish more ideas
  • Export options to share content beyond Pinterest
  • Topic tagging, a publishing feature that helps connect content to relevant interests

Once posted, users who follow you can see your idea pins in a carousel at the top of their home feed, as well as within search results, the Today tab, and at the top of a user’s profile. 

New Brand Partnership Tools

Along with these expansions to idea pins, Pinterest announced it is working on new ways for influencers to easily disclose paid partnerships. 

Pinterest affiliate or sponsored products posts

The new tool, which is being beta tested with a limited number of creators, allows users to note that they have partnered directly with a brand for content in their idea pin. Once this has been tagged, the brand can approve the idea pin before it goes live. 

Posts created this way will also receive a “Paid Partnership” label, which is legally required in the U.S. and generates a better sense of transparency from influencers. 

When you think of Pinterest users, most automatically imagine the same general audience – a woman in her 20’s or 30’s. That is slowly changing, however, as a new report from the network shows its users are getting more diverse than ever.

According to the company’s latest quarterly revenue report [PDF], Pinterest’s average monthly active users (MAUs) around the globe has risen 37%, largely driven by increasing popularity with new audiences like men, Millennials, and Gen Z.

Pinterest Rivals Snapchat and TikTok

To put the growth experienced by Pinterest in context, the number of monthly active users puts Pinterest in the same ranks as Snapchat and TikTok – two of the hottest platforms for younger users.

In Q4 of 2020, Pinterest say 98 million monthly active users in the US, while TikTok reported approximately 100 million MAUs. Meanwhile, Snapchat claimed 108 million active U.S. users just last month.

The biggest difference is that although Snapchat and TikTok shot to extreme popularity over relatively short periods of time, Pinterest has consistently been growing for much of its existence. It was only a matter of time before it started to challenge some of the other most popular platforms.

Who Are Pinterest’s New Users?

According to Pinterest, three groups are driving the majority of the company’s growth in recent history – men, Gen Z, and Millennials. As the company stated in a post from July 31, 2020:

“Gen Z and Millennials are driving much of our growth, with the number of men on Pinterest also jumping nearly 50% year on year, too.”

Notably, it seems each demographic is creating their own unique trends on the platform, motivated by their unique needs at their varying stages of life. 

For example, Gen Z pinners have inspired a wave of beauty trends focused on ethically expressing themselves, including trending keywords like “Indie beauty” and “Rainbrows.”

On the other hand, Millennials are participating more in trends like “More door” which help make them make the most of their homes.

As for men, it seems a lot of the attraction is the popularity of food and DIY projects. 

As Pinterest’s users and trends continue to diversify, it only makes sense that the company has been expanding the tools and features available to make it easier to target specific audiences across the platform. If this pattern continues, it is possible Pinterest could be the sleeper hit which one day could be as widely used as Instagram, Twitter, or even Facebook.

This week, Pinterest released its latest report on the most popular search trends and topics across the popular social network. 

Specifically, the search trends report shows which topics are currently seeing a significant spike in interest compared to last year, as well as trends that are expected to be popular this fall. 

The overall theme for this season, according to Pinterest, is “back to life” because autumn is like a ‘second new year.’

“Each year, the start of September and the beginning of autumn is seen by many people around the world as a ‘second new year’.

It’s a time when making small improvements, resetting goals and habits, and starting a fresh drive to create healthy routines feels more achievable and more personal than New Year’s resolutions.”

This has perhaps never been more true than in 2020 as we all gradually return to normal following the COVID-related shutdowns around the world. This may be why one of the biggest trends is a 64% increase in searches for “positivity.”

Pinterest Positivity Search Trends

Similarly, Pinterest says users are increasingly looking for activities and inspiration for around the house, rather than outside.

With this in mind, lets explore some of the finer details in the report.

2020 Pinterest Search Demographics

While Pinterest’s user base includes a wide range of people, this report simply broke users down into two categories:

  • Gen Z: Users between 18-24
  • Millennials: Users between 25-44

Gen Z Search Trends

Gen Z users are continuing to focus on self-love and creating positive spaces at home this season, as Pinterest says:

“With so much uncertainty in areas like school and work shifts, Gen Z Pinners are seeking ways to stay positive and healthy…”

This overall attitude has led to a number of increasing search trends, including these keywords:

  • Mental health check-in (up 5x)
  • Mindful eating (up 44%)
  • Photoshoot ideas (up 56x)
  • Zen bedroom ideas (up 5x)
  • Calming bedroom (up 3x)
  • Feng shui bedroom layout (up 2.5x)
  • Indie room (up 151x)
  • Hippie bedroom decor (up 19x)

Millennial Search Trends

While Gen Z is using Pinterest to improve their home spaces and spruce up their decor, Millennials are looking for ways to keep their family engaged and active.

“For the past six months, home has replaced work, school and the gym, and outdoor spaces have become one of the safest places to practise social distancing.

Millennial parents continue to prioritise keeping their families healthy and happy, while addressing their children’s mental health and self-care practices…”

This has driven an increase in these keywords:

  • Mental health activities for children (up 3.5x)
  • Occupational therapy for children (up 2x)
  • Conscious parenting (up 2x)
  • Schedule for children at home (up 20x)
  • Daily routine schedule for children (up 10x)
  • Children’s workout routine (up 88%)
  • Animal yoga poses for children (up 56%)
  • Indoor swings for children (up 3x)
  • Carnival games for children (up 3x)
  • Lava lamp experiments for children (21x)

Male Search Trends

Perhaps the biggest surprise in the report is a sizable increase in the number of men using Pinterest. Overall, the number of male users has climbed nearly 50% since this time last year. 

This is particularly interesting because Pinterest’s user base has historically leaned strongly female.

As for why men are suddenly showing an interest in the site, Pinterest says:

“The number of male Pinners has jumped nearly 50% since last year, with men searching for homeschool inspiration, as well as improvement projects and projects that also bring younger family members in on improvements around the home.”

As such, the site has seen increases in the following topics among male users:

  • Home improvement projects (up 78%)
  • DIY projector screen (up 41%)
  • Woodworking projects for children (up 2x)
  • Art therapy activities (up 65%)
  • Workout routine for men (up 3.5X)
  • Mental strength quotes (up 2.5x)

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.