In 2012, Pinterest launched and took over the Internet, giving us all a new goal to have our homes, apartments, fashion and food look, “Pinterest worthy.” Whether you’re planning a wedding, looking for style tips, home décor ideas, new crafts to try or a million different ways to eat an avocado—Pinterest is essentially a big scrapbooking website that created a mass dream board for all of our friends, family and strangers to share ideas onto.
But the app, which collects media from across the Internet and allows you to organize images into collections, called “boards,” has been rather quiet since it’s initial huge success. Other than bloggers who gain traffic by having dreamy, inspiring boards, and brands that run advertisements on the platform, do people really use Pinterest anymore? Or, do they use it as often as when it first broke into the social media world?
A recent Pew Research study that compared the frequency of social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn) revealed that people aren’t using Pinterest that often. Among Pinterest users, only 25 percent use it daily and 31 percent use it weekly. Unsurprisingly, Facebook and Instagram top the charts, with 76 percent of users being active on Facebook daily, and 51 percent are active daily on Instagram.
But don’t rule Pinterest out just yet. Though people do not use it as often as other sites, the company did reveal last year that it has 15 million active users, 85 percent of which are females.
Here’s a look at what Pinterest has been up to in order to make itself a little more relevant.
1. It’s defining itself as an advertising tool
Photo by Slaven Vlasic / Stringer / Getty Images.
Pinterest reportedly has 2 billion search queries monthly—so it’s a smart move on their part to roll out search advertisements. The recent addition only strengthens their position as an advertising tool for brands, as search ads will allow a brand to use keywords so that when someone searches a product, their items will show right away. Previously, ads would appear alongside other relevant content, so they were a little less obvious to the user.
The company has also partnered with Kenshoo marketing, which will allow marketers to see this new option when they are looking to run search campaigns. Marketers primarily use Google for search campaigns, and even though Pinterest’s search is tiny compared to the search giant, it’s a solid idea to reel in marketers.
Given Pinterest’s struggle to remain relevant, this move helps them better define themselves as an advertising tool, which is something advertisers are sure to be excited about. Google, however, not so much.
2. The company is hiring former Google employees
Pinterest recently hired Randy Keller as their head or search—a new position the company added, likely to help push out its new advertising tools. This news comes just after the company also hired Li Fan, who is the former head of Google image search, as their head of engineering.
Keller is also a Google veteran having previously worked at Google as a senior staff engineer and lead for ranking and features for Google Image Search. Needless to say, Keller was a smart hire for a company that’s trying to get back on everyone’s radar.
3. Innovating itself with Pinterest Lens
Another interest update to Pinterest platform is Pinterest Lens, which is still in beta. The lens invites users to take a photo of an object and use it to find related products on the platform. In example, if you see a piece of furniture you really like, but aren’t quite sure how to describe it, the Pinterest lens allows you to take a photo of it and find related products on Pinterest.
“Sometimes you spot something out in the world that looks interesting, but when you try to search for it online later, words fail you,” the company describes its new tool in an announcement. “Now there’s a way to discover ideas without having to find words to describe them first.”
It’s basically like using Shazam to help you identify products when you see them, which is something many people would probably find useful.
4. Shopping on Pinterest is a lot easier for consumers
When Pinterest first came out, before advertising and buy buttons where in the mix, part of what made the platform so popular was how it allowed you to pin and save all of the things you loved—and wanted to buy for yourself. Say, for example, you saw an image of a nicely dressed man or fashionable women. Maybe you only liked a certain piece of their outfit or you really wanted to know whether this was a model, or a real person. Regardless, it was hard to know, and as the platform started capitalizing off this behavior, it’s now made it really, really easy to buy the products you see in images.
The company’s “Shop The Look” tool helps you track down and buy the products you see on that style and home décor pins you love. By tapping the circle on a specific item, you can find the product, similar styles, and even see what other people pair with it. When you find something you want to buy, you can do it all right there on Pinterest. Talk about making it easy for your customers to fulfill their ideas!
5. It’s a constant feature on IPO prospect lists
Though Pinterest co-founder and CEO Ben Silbermann cleared the air on IPO rumors last year by stating the company does not have any intentions to go public yet, it’s still on the top of prospect lists for investors because it has a high valuation. With a valuation of $11 billion, Pinterest is worth almost as much as Snapchat, which just had a very successful IPO. Though the company still needs to figure out a steady revenue model, with its most recent advertising upgrades and innovative features, it could be possible that Pinterest is going to have a much more successful year.
Though it hasn’t been talked about in the media as often as other social networking sites, Pinterest has been holding on, despite being one of the lesser used social channels. Ultimately, only time and advertising revenue will truly show us if Pinterest can continue to remain relevant.