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Pinterest Introduces New Ways to Discover Food and Recipe-Related Pins

Food is the most popular category on Pinterest, with more than 15 billion food-related pins on the platform and significant increases in food Pins posted - and engagement with them - every year.

What’s more, Pinterest’s data shows that 86% of active Pinners use the platform while grocery shopping, and 52% of them say they’ve purchased items they weren’t planning to because of Pinterest.

That’s a fairly significant trend, and one which anyone working in the sector should take not of.

To help further facilitate such use, Pinterest has this week announced some new additions to make it easier for people to find the food Pins they’re looking for – and they could give the platform a significant boost in utility, making it an even more relevant consideration for food marketers.

Refine Recipe Search

First off, Pinterest's adding new recipe search qualifiers to help users find the exact recipe they’re after, including new options to hone in your results by cooking time, ingredients and dietary requirements.

Pinterest Introduces New Ways to Discover Food and Recipe-Related Pins | Social Media TodayThe filters will make it much easier to sort through those 15 billion recipe pins, enabling users to zero-in on exactly what they’re after – and no doubt fostering increased sharing of top recipes as a result.

Recipes via Lens

Pinterest introduced their innovative, image-recognition powered Lens tool back in February, then rolled out access to all US users in March. Since its introduction, Pinterest says Lens has seen a significant increase in usage (Lens use tripled between April and May alone), which widens their data pool, enabling them to further refine their results, and better align Lens matches with user trends.

One key trend they’re now looking to capitalize on in this regard is the use of Lens to find related recipes, which has lead to the addition of a new capacity for Lens to connect users with related recipes.

“We’re rolling out a way for you to Lens an entire dish and get recipes to recreate the meal. So the next time you want to copycat the waffles at your favorite brunch spot, Lens them to see what ideas turn up.”  

Pinterest Introduces New Ways to Discover Food and Recipe-Related Pins | Social Media TodayThe option makes sense, given the popularity of food-related Pins - and it’ll be interesting to see just how accurate the tool is. Can it really connect you to a recipe for your favorite meal? If it can, that could be a hugely popular option, a 'next-level' capability which once again underlines Pinterest’s industry-leading innovation in image recognition use, despite their significantly smaller engineering team.

Though just as Facebook copies Snapchat’s every move, it probably won’t take long for Google to catch up.

Ratings In-Stream

Pinterest’s final new feature is the addition of star ratings from sites like epicuriousMartha Stewart, and Food Network for each recipe in-stream.

Pinterest Introduces New Ways to Discover Food and Recipe-Related Pins | Social Media Today

Now it’s easier to see how a recipe turned out for people who’ve already made it—just scroll down on a recipe to see their tips and photos.”

Pinterest added similar functionality last November, with an option for users to check when they’d tried out a recipe, and leave their comments for those considering it in future.

Pinterest Introduces New Ways to Discover Food and Recipe-Related Pins | Social Media TodayThe new option expands upon this, giving you access to more feedback and responses in order to better inform your decision.

As noted, food is the most popular category on Pinterest, so it makes sense for the platform to investigate ways to further enhance the user experience within this element, and to try out new innovations to expand their food options. These new tools provide enhanced functionality not available on other platforms, and add to Pinterest’s ongoing differentiation, which could help boost the platform in the long run.

Pinterest doesn’t have the user numbers of the bigger social players, and likely won’t ever reach the same heights, but Pinterest users come to the platform with purchase intent in their mind, they use the platform for a different purpose – which is why Pinterest has been keen to distance itself from the ‘social network’ label.

And while they may be able to avoid potential conflict with Facebook, their moves into search do impede on Google’s turf, which is where Pinterest needs to tread carefully. For every successful search innovation they introduce, Google is watching – and just like Facebook’s not going to let Snapchat come in and steal away younger users, Google won’t be giving up any search ground without a fight.

It’ll be worth watching for future developments.  

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