Pinboard-style photo sharing website, Pinterest, is rolling out various features on regular basis to provide better user-experience and improved advertising mechanism to brands. Recently, Pinterest introduced ‘Related Pins’ feature to help users to discover contents which are close enough to their interest and based on pins they are currently following. This feature is likely to enrich Pinterest’s surfing experience as users interested in niche areas will be benefited (can gather more information) with other similar pins in their news feed section. ‘Related Pins’ seems to be following the concept of ‘recommendations’, ‘similar pages’,’who to follow’ of Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter.
How ‘Related Pins’ Might Benefit Users
Related Pins feature is likely to benefit in several ways as the news/pins which appears on the user’s feed are based on following factors:
- Pins liked or clicked on by users.
- Boards followed by users.
- Recently visited sites by users.
- If user clicks the info <i> icon at righthand bottom corner, it shows a thumbs up or thumbs down option.
- If a user vote ‘thumbs up, Pinterest will continue to show Pins of related type.
- If user vote thumbs down, Pinterest will remove that Pin from main feed. Pinterest is trying not to repeat the topics which user might have down-voted in past and provide them with diversified range of pins.
‘Related Pins’ feature might sound interesting to users who pursue interest in topics with niche audience. If a user is looking to shop any particular product or seek any particular information, he/she might be interested to verify the same information through different sources, in such cases ‘Related pins’ play a useful role. Related pins are not same as promoted pins and are randomly chosen images by Pinterest, that users might find engaging. It acts as discovery tool to find pins followed by users outside friend circle as the pins followed by friends are often predictable. It provides incentive for users to expand their knowledge by browsing various areas similar to topics of their interest.
Image source : Jeffbullas
As the feature is not monetized, users won’t be bugged with random ads of brands, firms. Instead they will find useful engaging information/topics with a close match to their activities on Pinterest site. Efficiency of Pinterest alogrithm is likely to improve and progress further to provide closest possible match to user’s interest areas.
‘Related Pins’ Likely To Turn Users Creepy And Flee Them Away!
Introduction of ‘Related Pins’ feature means – flooding the news feed section with certain content from boards that users aren’t necessarily following but ‘might‘ be interested to know about. Well, the word ‘might‘ can turn majority of user’s enriched experience to devastating. ‘Related Pins’ is likely to divert users to opt for ‘Related services’ Platform (similar to Pinterest). People generally view/like Pins for different purposes, and Pinterest powered algorithm isn’t efficient enough to judge the ‘true likes’ and ‘interests’ of users. People engage in Pinterest with intention of remaining in touch with their friends and promote discussions by keeping themselves updates with their mutual interest areas, but the ‘related pins’ is likely to increase the trouble of users to search for their friend’s pins amongst over-flowing random pins.
Pinterest should focus on keeping ‘related pins’ feature optional for users, with a separate icon on user’s profile to activate/deactivate. Else, the flooding news feed section with random pins outnumbering the feeds from friends might frustrate bulk of Pinterest dwellers. Users are already fed up with immense flow of spams on social networking sites, ‘related pins’ feature is likely to add to extra weight to same. User’s are generally more interested to know what their friend’s follow and not strangers. Analysts and advertising firms who are into the study of behavior of users across various brands on Pinterest platform, might ‘like’ or ‘save’ pin for research purpose; they wouldn’t want to view/follow/engage ‘related pins’ and make their research analysis tougher.
Related pins is an innovative discovery tool for users and will benefit them in many ways. Few images into the user’s feed shouldn’t be much of a problem as social networking is more about discovering new things and find people to discuss about your area of interest. But Pinterest should take care to control the amount of random crap flowing into the news feed. It would benefit them in long way if feature is kept optional or optimised to allow users to keep ‘Related pins’ feature open only for certain topics of their choice and not all of them.
If a user is shopaholic and wishes to compare prices of various products across different brands, provision must be made to allow Pinterest user view news feed only about shopping brands and nothing else.
Source: Pinterest Blog