For the past several years, Pinterest has been the social platform that has provided inspiration and organization for every aspect of our lives. With so much content on the internet, Pinterest serves as our own personal filter – helping us curate the articles, looks and recipes worth remembering. While Pinterest is incredibly useful, and also incredibly addictive, it has not demanded as much attention as its social peers. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat lead the headlines more often than not, but it looks like 2016 could be the year of the pin. Having recently surpassed the exclusive 100 million users mark, Pinterest is poised to take great strides in the coming months.
We’ve gathered a few widespread industry predictions to outline the platform’s likely evolution this year:
Enhanced Discovery: Social users turn to Pinterest to search for inspirational content and lifestyle hacks. More, than most other networks, search is an essential component of Pinterest’s success; without adequate search functionality Pinterest would fall short of meeting the demands of its users’ behaviors. Additionally, visuals are the foundation of Pinterest’s platform; one of the primary reasons why Pinterest is so captivating is that it is filled with photos and graphics that evoke strong emotional responses. To sync these two distinct platform pillars, Pinterest spent much of 2015 perfecting its visual search capabilities.
From Browse to Buy: At its inception, Pinterest was a glorified window shopping tool – a platform in which social users always browsed, but never bought. Pinterest recognized that the platform was missing out on a massive opportunity to drive sales, and in June of 2015 Pinterest lifted the veil on its long-anticipated Buy button. In the subsequent months, Pinterest opened up the Buy button capability and announced integrations with more commerce software providers, including IBM, Magento and BigCommerce. As Pinterest continues to progress its platform and users become more accustomed to in-app purchasing, it is likely that the Buy button will become a mainstay within the mobile shopping world.
Native Success: In December of 2015, Pinterest opened up Promoted Pins to all interested advertisers. Pinterest slowly entered the advertising world, first releasing its Promoted Pins product to limited partners in January of 2015. Now, one year later, Pinterest is rolling out out a wide-release to all U.S. While consumers are often reticent to accept advertising on their beloved social platforms, the introduction of Promoted Pins was met with a warm reception; according to statistics released by Pinterest in August 2015, Promoted Pins drive average engagements between 2-5%. Many industry insiders believe that scaling up its native ad unit will put the platform in a position to go public later this year.
Only time will tell if Pinterest is really ready to make follow the footsteps of Facebook and Twitter by going public, but all signs indicate that 2016 will be a breakthrough year for the platform.