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Do Pinterest’s new features help or hurt? Maybe both

Pinterest is rolling out new features, for better or worse, and while some features will dramatically improve the community, there are some hidden downsides to the growing social network.

pinterest for business

pinterest for business

Pinterest rolls out new features

In the next few weeks, Pinterest is going to help you filter your pins, giving you more of what you like and less of what you do not; but what does that mean for your business?

If you want to make sure your pins make it to your target audience, you will need to examine Pinterest’s new features. Let’s take a look:

A new edit button

First, they are rolling out a new “edit” button, which will be on a sidebar. You can use this to customize your home feed (what you see immediately after you log in) any way you want it. This feature will be available both from the web and your phone. If you go to “follow boards” you will be able to see things Pinterest thinks you will like, based on what you have been pinning.

According to the Pinterest blog, “if you’ve been pinning outdoorsy stuff, we’ll try to show you rock climbing, kayaking, or backpacking boards. The more you pin, the better the recommendations will get.” There will also be an “unfollow feature” if you do not wish to follow a board any longer. This is great in theory, because you might find things you would have missed otherwise, but, for business this could be very bad.

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Their blog does not state how things will be categorized, or what methods they are using. So, if like many people you are using Pinterest as a marketing tool for your product, your pins may be mis-categorized or lost entirely, depending on what strategy Pintererst employs.

Pinterest adds personalization

Next, Pinterest will begin suggesting personalized pins and boards based on websites you visit (that have the “Pin it” button). This actually makes me wonder how they are going to track you offsite, but they have said they support “do not track” and you can change these settings at any time if you are not interested in this particular feature.

Also, from a technical stand point, how does this work? Will you need a widget, plug-in, or link to make this work with your site? Or will existing buttons work? I am not sure and could not find a definitive answer.

I can also see the benefits of this, as their blog states; if you are planning an event and have visited sites about your event theme, Pinterest will suggest boards that go along with this theme. So, once there is more information about how this process works, small businesses will want to make sure they are utilizing this to its full potential. If it operates on key words, for example, you will want to insure you are using the best ones to target customers and keep them coming back to your boards.

But, I can also see this turning in to a spammer’s delight… by using key words to target audiences, they can have their content appear more readily. Pinterest’s policy on this subject is not immediately clear on the site.

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The bottom line

Bottom line: this could change how you formulate your boards and pins, but it could also help you reach larger audiences. It will be easier to tell when we have a bit more information.

Also, you might be interested to know, they are making changes to their privacy policy. Some changes will not take effect until August 26, 2013, but you can get a preview of these changes now.

Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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