Over the past few years I’ve had a rather love-it-then-hate-it relationship with Pinterest. I quickly became obsessed with the dreamy fantasy land as it rose to social media stardom and wasted away a rather scary amount of my spare time wanderlusting and fake wedding planning.
After a stern word with myself and a reality check I deleted all the pins that made me feel inadequate with my own life and have since been using it to actually plan things, REAL things, create mood boards for upcoming projects and promote my personal blog posts. But even Pinterest veterans like me didn’t realise the virtual pinboard is packed full of (kinda) secret features and hidden gems that make the already addictive and intuitive experience even more, well, intuitive and addictive.
You can re-arrange pins
Back in December, the Pinterest team announced that it’d be allowing users to re-arrange pins on each of their boards. To non-obsessive Pinterest users this won’t seem like a big deal. If you love pinning your life away, this is a HUGE deal, enabling you to effectively customise each board. It’s a feature that’s been a long time coming that the community has been asking for for as long as I can remember, so it’s great to see it finally in action.
It’s a HUGE driver of web traffic
Casual Pinterest users won’t care, but if you work in social media or marketing or have your own blog, then don’t under-estimate the value of pins. According to research from late last year, it’s the second most popular traffic driver on the internet, lagging a little behind Facebook but doing WAY better than Twitter in third place. Surprising, right? Of course this doesn’t mean any old brand or blogger should crowbar their content onto Pinterest without much thought, but consider ways in which your product or offering could work in a highly visual, and potentially super lucrative, format.
Search is based on gender
It’s no secret that Pinterest often seems to be a haven for sickly sweet girly stuff, like kittens, glitter and weddings, weddings, weddings. Although that’s mostly down to how you use the platform, Pinterest still wants to address its gender imbalance by introducing gender-specific searches. So if your Pinterest settings are correct and Pinterest knows you’re female when you search for something fairly generic, like ‘hairstyles’, the platform will serve up hairstyles modelled by women. The example the team gives on the Pinterest blog is watches (check out the screenshot above). A great one, because we imagine the gender split here is huge.
Search has got a whole lot better generally
Search functionality hasn’t just had a gender-specific makeover, but it also prompts you to, well, be a bit better. So if you search for something generic, like ‘hairstyles’ Pinterest encourages you to get way more specific so you can really find what you’re after.
You can share pin locations with Place Pins
The Pinterest creative team put a lot of time and effort into a new feature called Place Pins (click the link to read a great story about the development of place pins). They realised so many users come to the platform to plan journeys, share experiences and generally swoon at our awesome planet. To make this content more useful, they decided to integrate mapping functionality into the Pinterest experience.
To make the most of this feature you need to click ‘add a map’ when you create a new board. From there you can specify certain locations when you edit certain pins. It makes wanderlusting your way through the platform even more enjoyable and, ultimately, useful if you’re lucky enough to go on one of the trips from your daydreams.
Apps are much easier to shop for within the dreamy land of Pinterest
Earlier this month, the Pinterest team revealed that it’s going to be teaming up with Apple to add an ‘install’ button whenever someone pins an app and then accesses it from a mobile (an iPhone or iPad, obviously). This new feature means you can browse and download apps without ever leaving Pinterest.
Correct labelling can massively up your following
I’ve never been overly fussed about the number of followers I have on Pinterest (although that won’t stop some shameless self-promotion right about now, here I am!!), but if you’re running a business or keen on growing a dedicated following, then spend some time properly categorising and labelling your pins. Many people have obscure names for their boards and upload pins with no descriptions. If Pinterest is personal for you, then continue to ambiguously pin away, if it’s not, label boards imaginatively but informatively, upload images with relevant file names (yes this matters) and add hashtags and short but relevant descriptions to all of your content.
Product Pins, Article Pins and Movie Pins are totally a thing
Sometimes a simple image and caption will provide you with enough information to store something in Pinterest or enough information for a fellow pinner to find it. But over the past few years the Pinterest team has been working to make this experience even more useful.
The answer? As well as Place Pins (which we mentioned above), there are also Product Pins that provide you with additional details about your lust-after products, like availability and pricing; Article Pins that include a headline, author details and summary of any news pieces of features you pin; and finally Movie Pins, which give you ratings, cast members and review details.
Oh, and so are Recipe Pins!
Given that Pinterest is such a haven for recipes and cooking delights, Recipe Pins have massively revolutionised (nope, I don’t think that terminology is too OTT!) the way I use the platform. The idea is the same as the specialised pins above, Recipe Pins provide ingredients, cooking times and serving information. Although some may argue that this dissuades people from clicking through to the original content, it means you’re never left searching for recipes from just one amazing image you’ve found – for some reason this has happened to me SO many times!
You can direct message people
OK so this one is pretty obvious, but Pinterest-surfing is often a very personal experience to me and it’s nice to be reminded that it’s REALLY easy to send things to other people. Ideal if you’re planning on using Pinterest for planning and collaboration efforts for trips, events or… the purest kind of Pinterest crack… wedding boards.