January 26, 2016

Real-Time, Big Data and Pinterest

As part of an effort to make the app less about self-expression and more about utility, Pinterest has revamped their mobile profile page to be more useful for users.
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Photo courtesy of WIRED
Previously upon opening Pinterest, the collections in your profile appeared in a grid, with the first image you ever pinned acting as the billboard for all pins within a certain collection. Since most users returned to their profile page to view their recent pins, they did not want to waste their time searching for old content buried deep within a collection. Acknowledging the inefficiency of the app’s original structure, Pinterest did what they could to make up for this kind of counterintuitive organization and poor search function. The new design pushes the six most recent pins to the top. It’s a pragmatic approach to organization that makes Pinterest more of an archival timeline than a tool for curation, although the two oftentimes go hand in hand. In effect, the app has moved toward big data as it begins to incorporate the exact times images were pinned by a user. The result is a more accurate representation of what the user is interested in at a given moment, and updated in real-time.
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Photo courtesy of WIRED
The new design isn’t just a timeline. It’s an iteration of a user’s current (even “live”) consumer desires. Therefore, your profile page evolves as you pin, making pinned content a more relevant and up-to-date profile of a user’s interests. In other words, Pinterest profile pages become platforms for relevant content that actually represents the user and encourages more shares. While simply allowing the ability to curate pins would have made Pinterest nothing more than a platform for self-expression, the archive (functioning as a timeline), becomes a more transparent use of real-time data. Thus, as Pinterest’s features and capabilities become more transparent, so do the platform’s users. Pinterest can now begin providing real-time measurable data that isn’t just useful for the user, but also for the marketer and media buyer. All in all, Pinterest’s new feature will prove to be beneficial both for the company and the platform’s users. This post was written by community manager Sam Oriach. You can follow him on Twitter @samoriach.