Pinterest, the website and mobile app that describes itself as a “visual discovery engine,” showcased “Today,” a tab on the user’s Pinterest home page that features topics and ideas curated by Pinterest staff and trending pins selected by algorithms. “Today” is a response to changing customer behavior during the coronavirus pandemic. The platform’s global monthly active users reached 367+ million, up from about 300 million last September. During the last few months, searches and boards have both leapt up 60 percent compared to last year.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Today was created by Pinterest’s senior vice president of technology Jeremy King and his team in less than a week and unveiled in late March. On Tuesday, Today featured “information for users on the Black Lives Matter movement including organizations to consider supporting and educational resources on racism for parents.”
The new feature “builds on existing artificial intelligence algorithms used by Pinterest that can identify trending topics and behaviors for advertisers.” In March, the Pinterest engineers placed “a blue check mark on profiles of retailers verified by Pinterest employees for having fair return policies and shipping rates and in-stock merchandise.”
At eMarketer, principal analyst Andrew Lipsman noted that, “the Today tab could be an effort to encourage Pinterest users to make a daily habit of checking the platform.” “All the biggest winners in technology have been predicated on developing a really powerful consumer habit,” he said. Pinterest’s “sales and user numbers came in above Wall Street’s expectations in its latest earnings report … [it] also reported a slightly larger than expected net loss of $141 million and said it expected operating expenses to rise year-over-year in the second quarter.”
King said that the company’s reliance on Amazon Web Services has “been critical” since “overnight, we were seeing increases [in user activity] on some of our platforms of 1,000 percent.”
Android Community reports that Pinterest’s introduction of the Lens visual search and Pinterest camera are making shopping easier. Pinterest is now adding a Shop tab to search results, “so users can be linked to the retailers’ own shopping sites.” If users want a specific item, “Pinterest now has a Shop tab in the Lens results.”
Whether the user uploads a photo or takes a picture via Pinterest camera, he or she “will now get a feed of all the shoppable Pins related to your search … [and] each of the product pins will then lead to the checkout page of the product on their respective retailer sites.” Although most items “snapped on the Lens search are related to fashion and home décor … over the past few months, there has been a significant increase in search for at-home items, including beauty products and home office products.”