New Pinterest Features the Good and the Bad

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Spring has sprung and all around there’s change and it seems that spring has made it’s way to Pinterest too. In the past few weeks new Pinterest features have bloomed. Some have the potential to be great for businesses on Pinterest but unfortunately, that’s not the case for all of them.

New Pinterest Features the Good and the Bad

Most of the new Pinterest features only impact mobile app users but given that over 75% of Pinterest users access Pinterest from a mobile app, businesses should definitely take notice.

New features include:

  • Guided Search
  • New profile pictures
  • Notifications
  • Related boards

Let’s take how these new Pinterest features can be good or bad for businesses using Pinterest.

Guided search

On April 24, 2014 Pinterest held a product launch event called “Choose Your Own Adventure.” Prior to the event some predicted it would be a a travel related feature that would attract more men to Pinterest. Others predicted that it would be a full scale release of  the “Explore Interests” feature which began rolling out to users earlier this year. They were both wrong.

At the event Pinterest co-founder, Ben Silbermann revealed Guided Search. In a nutshell, the new feature comes into play when a user enters a search term in the Pinterest search box, they’re offered additional words to add to their search phrase that guides them to new results. It’s kind of like the books and video games where your choice of the given options lead you down different paths and to different results.

To access Guided Search, click on the magnifying glass located on the bottom of the screen for iOS app users and at the top of the screen for Android users.

Pinterest iPhone app search


One point of confusion with Guided Search has been that you can’t specify whether you’re searching for pins, boards or pinners until you begin to type. Also, if you choose one of the selected phrases offered as you type you won’t be able to switch from pins to boards.


With Pinterest Guided Search choose from pins boards or pinners


Guided Search shines when you’re searching for pins. Once you submit your search word or phrase you will be offered a scrollable list of words to add. You can choose to add Pinterest’s suggested words or phrases or continue to add your own.  This feature is not available when searching for boards or pinners.


Pinterest Guided Search Menu


The addition of Guided Search can help businesses’ pins be found on Pinterest but it’s now more important than ever for businesses on Pinterest to have their pins optimized with searchable keywords. Keywords should be included any where text is available on Pinterest but for Guided Search they’re vital.  Including keywords relevant to your niche in pin descriptions can be the difference between a pint hat goes ignored and one that brings traffic to your site.

The addition of Guided Search meant the loss of “Explore Interests” on the mobile app, this greatly disappointed me. For a few short weeks I was able to enjoy easily finding pins outside of Pinterest’s 32 categories. I was also able to add my preferred interest categories to my account’s homepage. I really hope this is a feature they bring back 🙁

Interest categories on Pinterest account home page


New profile pictures

The designers at Pinterest might be getting bored with squares and rectangles. Now, pinners’ profile pictures are circles on the mobile app. They kind of remind me of Google+, what do you think?

New circle profile pics on Pinterest mobile app

The circle profile pics appear on account home pages and in notifications on the mobile app.

Circle profile pictures in Pinterest notfications

Though I like creativity and the use of different shapes, this change could cause problems for some businesses using Pinterest. Notice how part of my logo is now cut off? Adding branding to your Pinterest profile picture can help your account stand out as a business account. If you have wording or a logo as a part of your Pinterest profile picture check it on a mobile app to make sure important parts aren’t cut off.


Notifications have also changed recently on Pinterest and not for the better.  In the past, you could always see the pin that was being repinned. Now, Pinterest has changed the notification system to show you a tiny collage of the board that the pin was pinned and only sometimes showing the pin. It was so helpful to take a look at my notifications and see, at a glance, which of my pins were getting a lot of attention that day. What a bummer!

This change applies to both mobile and web versions of Pinterest.

New Pintaerest notifications limit information

Related boards

Pinning new content to share with your existing followers and following others on Pinterest are 2 things can can contribute to your Pinterest success. On the mobile app, Pinterest helps you out a bit by giving you an easy way to find related boards.

To find related boards simply tap and hold on the cover of any board. Slide your finger up to the lightbulb icon and release. You will then see a list of boards with similar titles and pins.

I’ve tried this with both my own boards about Pinterest and with other’s. I found a lot of new boards to follow and people to connect with who also have an interest in Pinterest marketing.

Looking at related boards can give you insight into what kinds of boards people are pinning your content to and could inspire new content or even new products. Related boards deserve a BIG thumbs up, thanks Pinterest!

Related boards on Pinterest mobile app

What do you think of the recent pinterest changes? Will you be making any changes in the way that you use Pinterest for your business?

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