Pinterest Inc. is rolling out a redesign of the feed that users see on its mobile app, as it seeks to highlight content from influencers and encourage interaction between them and other users.
The online sharing platform is breaking its user experience into two tabs. The Browse tab retains the platform’s traditional grid layout of multiple posts, while the new Watch tab presents a scroll of full-screen Idea Pins, formerly known as Story Pins, which are posts made up of multiple video clips and images, created by influencers. Pinterest said it hopes the changes will help it better expand and retain its audience.
Pinterest saw an increase in users and revenue during much of the pandemic. But the company has seen users slip in the U.S. as pandemic restrictions loosened and consumers regained opportunities to socialize outside of their homes and away from their computers and phones.
Pinterest’s U.S. monthly active users in the second quarter declined 5% from the quarter a year earlier, to 91 million, a trend that accelerated later in the period. Global monthly average users increased 9% year over year.
“They’re still figuring out how do they marry what they have historically been known for with what younger audiences are craving—which is short-form video,” said Lauren McGrath, founder of Novel Projects, an influencer marketing and talent partnerships consulting firm.
Pinterest is trying to connect users to the people who create posts as well as respond to changes in how consumers want to interact with the content, such as watching a makeup tutorial in a video format as opposed to reading a written blog, said Naveen Gavini, senior vice president of products at Pinterest.
“The whole goal for us in the next few years and how we think about ourselves is really like an inspiration-to-realization platform,” Mr. Gavini said. “So not just delivering the ideas, but how do you actually manifest those ideas in your life and take action and make them come to reality.”
The features were also driven in part by feedback from creators who wanted to build a direct relationship with users on the platform and make money from their content, Mr. Gavini said.
Influencers can now tag Idea Pins about lip products with a Try On sticker, for example, signaling that others can use augmented reality to see how the products would look on them. Idea Pins can also display a carousel of additional products that are similar to those in the post.
Influencers can earn commissions through affiliate links to sites where users can buy products. Users can respond to creators’ Idea Pins with videos and images labeled Takes.
Pinterest also announced a $20 million Creators Rewards program to pay influencers for posting content.
Pinterest is creating opportunities for influencers to construct their own micro-communities as well as offer new ways for brands to participate in Idea Pins, said Gabrielle Blitz Rosen, founder and chief executive of Townhouse Digital LLC, a digital marketing and social-media agency.
“If Pinterest can pair the inspiration with the shopping capabilities…you could see how it would be a very powerful experience,” Ms. Rosen said.
Features such as Takes also encourage community interaction within the platform and help keep people on the site, said Brendan Gahan, partner and chief social officer at Mekanism Inc., an ad agency.
“With most platforms, the reason you’re there is because you’re invested in people,” Mr. Gahan said. “Giving more visibility to the people behind Pinterest’s community is probably a very wise thing in the long term,” he added.
Write to Ann-Marie Alcántara at firstname.lastname@example.org
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