Pinterest is Changing…Are You Ready?

One of the hottest social media platforms in 2011 and 2012 was the picture based service Pinterest. It dramatically changed the landscape of social media with its picture-based interface.  And, given that it originally began with only personal accounts and not business accounts, it was one of the services that had the strongest emphasis on finding creative ways to provide value and not be overtly marketing oriented.

It’s long been one of my favorite social media platforms<grin>!  I even wrote a book on how to find fun and creative ways to use Pinterest to brand and market your business – and that was well before they had business accounts!

Pinterest recently did some redesign work to try to improve their user experience, and I think they made some great changes.

Here’s the scoop on what you need to know about the new Pinterest.

8 Pinterest Changes You Should Know About

1. No More URLs in Pin Descriptions

One of the biggest changes for SEO is that you can no longer include URLs in pin descriptions.  Actually – you can, but they just won’t be hyperlinked – it will show up as regular text.

2. No More Hashtags in Pin Descriptions

Are you seeing a trend here?  It seems like Pinterest might have tried to cut down on spammy links from pins to questionable sites, stuffed keywords, and the ability to hijack pins.  These are all good things, of course.  It remains to be seen if they improved their search engine to make it easier to find the kinds of pins you might be looking for in your particular niche or that might appeal to your ideal customer.

3.  New – Go To Website Button

Each pin will now feature a button that says “Go to Website,” meaning that it will take users to the website the image was pinned from.  This is great for marketers!  If you’re using Pinterest for marketing, you will want to make sure that you regularly include great quality, attractive images on your website and regularly encourage your guests to pin your content.
Pinterest Website Button

4.  Embedded Links

Speaking of linking between pins and websites, if you are going the other way around and trying to link to a pin from your website, you have to use Pinterest’s “Embed” button, found under the “Share” menu.  The “Embed” button generates code for you to use, rather than directly linking from a pin to your website. Otherwise, if you try to link directly, the link simply won’t work.

Pinterest Embed

5.  Tweeting Pins Isn’t Automatic

It used to be that you were able to Tweet your pin when you created it.  In the new interface design, you have to click on the pin itself to share it (in the same menu as the button to embed a link).

Pinterest Twitter

6.   Profiles are shorter

I guess it’s a picture-based profile for a reason – but the length of a profile bio just got shorter on Pinterest!  Specifically, you now have only 160 characters to work with rather than the 200 you used to have.

7.   No more “liking” boards from Facebook

This is kind of interesting, I think – you used to be able to like people’s boards from Facebook, but this won’t be the case any more.  The interesting thing is the timing, since Facebook just decided to make Pinterest boards more visible on News Feeds.

8.  Big News for Marketers – Pinterest Analytics Have Been Added!

One of the biggest additions you’ll want to pay attention to is the presence of real analytics information. You can now track things like, how many pins have been generated from your website, the number of repins, impression, and clicks those pins have gotten, which pins from your website are getting the most repins and clicks, how many pins that have come from your site over time, and how many impressions and clicks they’ve gotten. And if you want to take it a step further and really analyze the data, you can even export the data to a spreadsheet in Excel.

Pinterest Analytics

Whew!  There’s a lot of changes all at once – but I think this is going to be super helpful for marketers!  What do you think?  Leave a comment below!


  1. Ola says

    Great summary of the changes. I suspect they were more a legal necessity. It was never doing to fly in terms of copywriter if pple could just pin others material without reference to its origin and courts have been taking the view that platform providers are just as responsible.

    • says

      Ola, your absolutely right Pinterest is a huge snowball heading south and its ready to explode. I have been watching Pinterest for sometime now from both as a webmaster SEO viewer , a professional artists, and as a business and pro blogger stand point. At first I saw some good things happening with it, but then as things started to progress and get repinned the more and more I found that they were losing control of the situation. Not only did a drop in my traffic happen from the stripping of my links but also pictures of my work started appearing on other sites with others laying claim to the work. Needless to say it took a lot of work to reverse that damage. So with that being said I believe your assumptions to the legalities and/or liability of the issues I would have to say you are spot on. I have since stopped posting to Pinterest as well as many other photographers and artists have because of copyright infringements and theft of website traffic from the originators of the posts. The last thing I think they want right now would be a huge class action regardless of what the “terms of service says” Wrong or right, win or lose the attorney fees would be enormous to defend it in the first place and as everyone knows the ones with the most toys wins. I can tell that you are a very bright and an intelligent person.
      Look what Arthur Morehead just posted..Fine Art Galleries and Decorative ArtMy Profile

  2. says

    Hi Kim, this is a great article! I do have one question though. Why does my profile dropdown menu not have an analytics option? Is this a future thing or is it only certain users are updated with a view to updating all users eventually?

  3. Mary Tod says

    Helpful article, Kim. I’m trying to decide how best to leverage my social media activities. I’ll keep your link as a great resource. Do you recommend it for authors?

  4. says

    This is really interesting, and informative. As a blogger, I sort of appreciate that they make you go to the site to “like” something. It is frustrating to get so many “likes” on facebook, and very little interaction on my actual blog, so I can see the desire to make the change. Thanks for the great info!

  5. says

    Hi Kim, when do these changes go into effect? Or are they only applicable to business accounts? I pinned this morning and the description does have a clickable link, and I don’t see a “go to website” button. This is via a personal account though.

  6. says

    Hi Kim, thanks for the update! I was wondering when Pinterest was going to do some of these things.

    I can’t help but be curious, though. I understand why most of these changes have been made, but I don’t get one in particular. Why take away the ability to link in the description? Isn’t the goal to ultimately bring the viewer back to the website? I understand that they added the “Website button” anyway as well (which I think is awesome!). Which do you think is the better option?

  7. says

    That’s some big changes that Pinterest has implemented in 2013…some much needed changes. Looking forward to seeing how this affects things moving forward.

  8. says

    This is a very useful article since some of these changes are very big. So I guess the old pins can have 200 characters but if re-tweeted, they will be shortened to 160.

  9. says

    Hi Kim

    In an effort to ‘master’ Pinterest and make it work for my business I just bought your Pinterest book on Amazon. In the light of the new changes you describe is most of it still relevant?

  10. says

    Kim I would like to know your view of what I foresee and am expecting to see from Pinterest as to what seems to be an ongoing domino effect with other social medias. In light of the fact that Facebook was once my 3rd most traffic source (Organic and SEM is my first) Facebook has basically fallen off to being some where around 9 or 10th being that they now only allow access to about 15% of your friends and fans and are forcing everyone to pay by “post promotions” at a per post charge to regain that traffic and with LinkedIn following in a similar fashion of cutting off your contact reach to a minimum of what once was your entire contact list or more by charging a yearly premium for businesses to regain their traffic also, (LinkedIn has fallen to 7th). My theory here with the Pinterest changes focusing mainly towards businesses with these changes to limited html coding in the descriptions and focusing back to website origination pins and cutting off the “Likes” traffic to Facebook. Don’t you think they are getting ready to “drop the hammer” on small business once again as other social media has done? Look at Flicker who are raising their fees and now rumor has it that Twitter and YouTube are soon to follow. Don’t you think the days of free social media traffic are coming to an end?
    Look what Arthur Morehead just posted..Fine Art Galleries and Decorative ArtMy Profile

    • Kim says

      I think that all social media sites are ‘free’ for most end users but all freemium business models have to monetize in some way, hence the changes to their platforms. One of the reasons that I see Google+ thriving long term because they don’t have to monetize to be successful…they are GOOGLE and already have a ton of income streams in other areas. It’s going to be interesting to see this all evolve for sure.
      Look what Kim just posted..3 Time Saving Tips for Creating Killer ContentMy Profile

  11. says

    I drop a leave a response each time I like a article on a website or if I have something to contribute
    to the discussion. Usually it’s triggered by the sincerness communicated in the post I
    read. And after this article Pinterest is
    Changing…Are You Ready?. I was moved enough to post a leave a responsea response 😉 I do have 2 questions for you if
    you usually do not mind. Is it simply me or do some
    of the responses come across like coming from brain dead individuals?
    😛 And, if you are posting on other social sites, I’d like to follow anything new you
    have to post. Could you make a list every one of all your community pages like your twitter feed, Facebook
    page or linkedin profile?

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    • Boom! Care Squad says

      I think thoughtful responses take time.. and sometimes people don’t have a chance to post everything that they are thinking…
      The social media tabs give you a chance to connect with me, give them a click and connect with me that way. – Thank you for reaching out and sharing we really appreciate you. Boom Care Squad – Aida
      Look what Boom! Care Squad just posted..20 Ways to Save HOURS of Social Media TimeMy Profile

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