6 Pinterest Updates Marketers Need to Know from 2016

Every month, Pinterest is accessed by over 150 million people, 55% of whom use the platform specifically to find or shop for products. This offers great potential for marketers to creatively display their products to an already engaged audience that are willing to buy. We've reviewed the most relevant Pinterest updates of 2016 to help you thrive on the platform.


UPDATE: Socialbakers is now an official Pinterest Marketing Partner (PMP). By Providing integrated access to the Pinterest Content Marketing API, Socialbakers clients will be able to measure and optimise their Pinterest performance. Read here to learn more about Socialbakers' partnership with Pinterest.

1. App and Website Redesign

In April 2016, Pinterest announced a major redesign to their website and app layout. Before, every Pin was surrounded by a container, which was a special frame with a description and visible interactions (number of likes or shares ‘repins’). The company removed the containers and substituted them with white space, improving the visibility of photos and videos.

To complete the upgrade, Pinterest added new languages and enhanced their app loading time by 3x. These changes allow marketers to showcase their products to a larger audience in a more visually appealing and faster way. 

2. Buyable Pins Available on Pinterest’s Website

After the redesign, in June Pinterest moved to simplifying the purchasing process on their website with Buyable Pins. Available for only select US retailers and commerce platforms, Buyable Pins show the item’s price and come with a "Buy It" button, directing the user to the merchant's online store. Previously, products could only be purchased through the mobile app, and now they can be bought directly from Pinterest’s website. This update makes Pinterest a valuable marketing channel, enabling businesses to raise brand awareness and track social media ROI at the same time.

3. New Formats for Promoted Posts

In October, Pinterest launched three new formats of promotable Pins, which marketers can boost to increase reach, engagement, and website traffic. Before, pictures were the only type of promotable content. Companies can now advertise using one-tap, video, and app Pins:

One-tap Pins are branded photos that redirect users to the retailer's website. According to Pinterest, this type of ad is highly effective, helping twice as many users find products they want to buy.

Pinterest's promoted videos are equally interesting because marketers can incorporate up to six Buyable Pins with products that are featured in the video. This format is a welcomed change, as the videos have the option for sound and are no longer short Cinematic Pins.

App Pins are in-feed pictures that allow iPhones users to quickly download a variety of iOS mobile applications. This perfectly complements Pinterest's ad offer, making it highly attractive for both retailers and software companies.

4. Simplified Notifications and Inbox

In November, Pinterest revamped the notifications section. The company removed the You tab, and migrated the notifications, such as likes and recommendations, into the News section. Pinterest also reduced the number of notifications by grouping them together into one story that users can tap on to see a list of interactions.

With the latest change to the Inbox, messages, invites and comments are shown in real-time and in one-place, helping marketers to respond in a timely manner.

5. Explore Section

To seamlessly search through over 75 billion Pins, Pinterest introduced the Explore section where users can view trending topics, experts' top picks, and best content from the largest media publishers. In addition, users will get personal recommendations based on their interests and browse Pins by topic.

6. Native Video

Pinterest's last major update of 2016 was the roll out of a native video player. Until November, videos could only be shared through links, but with the new player they can be uploaded directly to Pinterest. Most importantly for marketers, videos will autoplay and be featured in the Explore section, offering significant advertising opportunities. The potential of this feature simply cannot be ignored, especially since 67% of Pinterest users claim that watching videos on the platform inspires them to take action.

The Takeaway

2016 was definitely a year of transformation for Pinterest. The company introduced a number of important updates for marketers, who can now effectively leverage the platform for advertising. It's certain that Pinterest's community will continue to grow in 2017 - that's why it's imperative for companies to establish a strong presence on the platform. We will be covering more of Pinterest's latest news and best practices, so don't forget to keep visiting the Socialbakers blog! Learn what changed on other social media networks in 2016, in our review of the Updates Marketers Need to Know on Twitter and Snapchat.

See how your Pinterest strategy is working with Socialbakers Analytics to get a full overview of your performance.

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