Pinterest recently released shoppable links within the application. This allows curators to make money off the products that they feature in their “Idea Pins.” With “Idea Pins,” creators can upload videos enhanced by comments or music, similar to the “Stories” feature by Facebook or Instagram. Businesses have uploaded “Product Pins” that they have specially uploaded to the scrapbooking site for influencers to tag their videos with. With this enhancement, Pinterest now becomes a bit closer to becoming Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok, all of which have rolled out their shopping tabs a while back.
What does this mean for Pinterest and the millions of users on the site?
It appears that like most of the social media companies, the realization is that the creator is the one that is not only driving interest but traffic and without the creator there is no social media platform. The company noted that there was a 20x uptick in product searches at the end of 2020. In essence, users could search Amazon which would provide a neutral bent on a product, but instead come to Pinterest, and other social networks to get your unbiased opinion and endorsement.
Affiliate links have always been allowed, albeit clunky, but with the explosion of short form, snackable, ephemeral content (i.e. Stories / Idea Pins), creators can now monetize on both. According to the company, users have 89% more shopping intent on “Idea Pins” than on normal pins. Coupled with the site’s heavy female skew (77%), influencers should be creating much more of this content to take advantage of the affiliate rewards.
Where can Pinterest Influencers Win?
While Idea Pins, Stories, and most ephemeral content cannot get crawled fast enough, regular pins are not as reliant on being real time. Instagram and Snap are, as evidenced by their names, real time content engines, while YouTube, TikTok, and Pinterest are a bit more carefully curated. This allows for users to think of search terms and other ways to get users interested in their content, found via search.
Influencers also are able to drive a ton of traffic from a rabidly loyal audience. Overall, audiences skew female and the same “Mom Bloggers” that started this entire industry are leading the charge here. This communication makes a big difference as we’ve seen a lot of traffic being driven from Pinterest for something as non visual, for example, as financial planning.
What does this mean for Influencers?
Influencers are not going away any time soon. In fact as we’ve illustrated, this further demonstrates the value in influencers. Having the ability to go directly to Amazon, or taking a more circuitous route through a Pinterest board, most users would opt for the board to get the third party endorsement prior to purchase. Furthermore, if influencers are in a high turnover low cost product area, food, for example, Pinterest might be a perfect platform.
Finally, users have a much easier time creating content as they are curators around the web. With the exception of “ideas pins”, pins are essentially links from around the internet, as opposed to the other sites that require original content. This makes content creation much easier for users and its evergreen nature allows for these pins and pinboards to be visited multiple times (with food, you are going back to the recipe multiple times).
While there are less Pinterest users than Instagram users (28% to 37%), Pinterest users seem to have the intent, the education, and the means to be much more valuable than an average Instagram user. The female skew also offers another step toward intent. What this means is that if you have a following on Pinterest, that audience is valuable as they are likely to buy the products you are curating.
The announcement does not change the social media landscape much as it simply brings Pinterest to par with the other platforms. However given the specialty demographics of its audience, this could be a game changer for influencers, users, and the platform itself. What are your thoughts on Pinterest and how this change affects the platform? Drop us a line and let us know!