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.
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.
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).
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.
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!