Pinterest Update Incorporates Categories as Social Network Growth Continues

A new Pinterest update allows users to follow topic categories in addition to individual pinners, expanding the potential reach of content and granting users a wider range of discovery opportunities. Active users can now follow niche topics relevant to them, such as hiking, vegan, traveling, and many more.

Originally, users’ feeds were comprised solely of content pinned by the others they followed. By following individual topics instead, users gain exposure to relevant content that they might not have seen among the pins displayed in their feed, according to a release from Pinterest.

Each category page will also list related interests that users might want to follow, helping pinners enrich their own discoveries through the platform. “That way there’s always something interesting waiting for you whenever you drop by Pinterest,” notes Pinterest Software Engineer Ningning Hu, author of the release.

This latest Pinterest update comes as the social network’s traffic and engagement hit all-time highs. As of March, Pinterest was driving more than seven percent of all site visits coming from social networks, a figure that ranks second only to Facebook. The platform also saw a year-over-year site referral share increase of almost 70 percent, according to Shareaholic.

“What’s Pinterest’s advantage? Compelling visual content wins, time and time again,” writes Shareaholic’s Danny Wong. “That’s why brands love the platform. It allows them to showcase their best products in front of an audience excited to discover things that fit users’ personal aesthetic.”

And brands aren’t alone. The American Customer Satisfaction Index reports that Pinterest leads all other social platforms in its customer experience. With an index score of 76, Pinterest is seven points better than Twitter and nine points ahead of Facebook.

While Pinterest is several years younger than some of its rival networks, the current value of the platform as a brand promotion tool can’t be underestimated. Shareaholic notes one study that estimated the value of the average pin at 78 cents. For a service brands can use for free, that’s an extraordinary value.

Pinterest is also ahead of the curve where visual content is concerned. Because its content feed is built around visual elements, the social network offers a different user experience than other types of social networks. And visual content is particularly popular on mobile devices, giving Pinterest even more potential as online consumer activity shifts toward smartphones and tablets. As Pinterest continues to trend upward in tangible metrics like site referrals and consumer engagement, it’s becoming a more vital component of digital strategy for all brands.

This article originally appeared on Skyword.

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