Pinterest, the popular pin-up photo site that is increasingly being used by businesses, is rolling out some new design features. The tweaks follow last week's announcement that the site was introducing new analytics tools.
The company said that the new design elements are intended to make it easier for users to discover new things on the site, and that the new look is based on feedback from user testing in January. In the closeup view of pins from the same board, for example, users can now explore the entire board without leaving the page.
There is also a function that shows other pins by "people who pinned this," and another to show more pins from a Web site when you're looking at one pin from that source.
Losing Your Place
Additionally, pins are bigger, and, if you scroll through pins and click on something, the back button brings you back to where you started, no matter how far the detour. Pinterest said that a frequent complaint from users has been that they lost their place while browsing, which is a disincentive for exploring. Straying, or discovering, is central to the site's appeal to users, and to businesses that might be interested in using the site to market its products.
The revised design will be rolled out to users through invitations. Pinterest also said, without detail, that the site's foundation has been rebuilt to make Pinterest "more reliable for you and easier to improve for us."
If the revisions do make exploration easier and even more popular, businesses who are using the site for marketing might be among the beneficiaries of users following a trail to them. As Pinterest continues to grow in popularity, its appeal for marketing is being explored by a larger number of businesses.
According to a Pew Research Center survey from late last year, Pinterest and Twitter are nearly tied for the second-most popular social network , with 15 percent and 16 percent of Net users, respectively. Facebook is way out in front as No. 1, with 67 percent. Experian Marketing Services' Hitwise ranked Pinterest as the fourth-most popular social network, behind Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
In the two years since Pinterest launched, it has garnered more than 10 million registered users, and is typically receiving more than 11 million weekly visits. Fifty-nine percent of users are aged 25 to 44, and nearly 60 percent are women. While many of the users' boards are oriented toward fashion, travel or food, online marketers for other products or services are beginning to explore posting images about their company's products and experimenting with ways to lead users there.
The analytics tools introduced by Pinterest last week can provide such information to Web sites and other businesses as how many users have pinned content from a site, how many users have visited those pins, and how many users have been referred to a site from Pinterest.
This latter user pattern is turning into one of Pinterest's greatest business assets, since it is becoming known as a major driver of traffic to other sites.