Pinterest's latest move may be more relevant than you realize.
From today, Pinterest's 'Pin it' button is no more, with the platform switching the name of the function from 'Pin it' to 'Save'.
The functionality of the tool remains the same - if there's a 'Pin it' button active on the site, you can Pin visual content direct to your Pinterest boards, which makes it easier to share content on the platform.
The change seems a bit odd, right? 'Pinning' has been the way Pinterest defines itself and its community, and either way, changing the name doesn't mean a heap. But that simple action will have wider reaching impacts - for Pinterest, definitely, but also for your Pinterest presence.
Point of Clarity
Pinterest decided to change the name from 'Pin it' to 'Save' to clarify the actual functionality of the button, particularly for international users.
As per Pinterest's blog:
"Now that more than half of people who use Pinterest are from outside the United States, we've been working harder than ever to make sure our app and website are easy to use no matter where you live or what language you speak. Unfortunately it turns out that the notion of "Pinning" ideas doesn't always resonate with everyone around the world."
That's an important distinction - as noted by Forbes, in some countries, like Japan, the pinboard metaphor doesn't resonate the same way it does in North America, it's simply not a process they're as familiar with. That mis-interpretation leaves a potential gap which could be holding some Pinterest users back from pinning more often.
Now you might think that's probably no big deal, surely people could work out what the functionality means either way. Well, maybe not - Pinterest ran an experiment and found that:
"In our tests of the Pinterest button for browsers, changing "Pin it" to "Save" led to an 8% increase in Pin saves (formerly known as "repins.")"
And given, as noted, that more than half of Pinterest's 100 million monthly active users are now based outside the US, that difference is very significant.
But more than just getting Pinners to be more active, the change to 'Save' may also get more people actively Pinning content from your site.
Yes, Pinterest seeing an 8% increase in 'Pin' (or 'Save') activity is great for them, but those Pins obviously need to be coming from somewhere. Any boost in Pin activity has wider flow-on effects - in this case, to the Pages that have the 'Pin it' button installed. If the change gets more people Pinning, that's a good thing for brand pages and publishers, as it'll increase their potential reach on the platform without them having to do any extra work.
And when you also note that Pinterest is the second highest driver of overall social referral traffic to websites (behind Facebook), you can see why that boost in Pin activity is important, and may prove extremely relevant to your brand.
(Also, given those numbers, if your brand isn't active on Pinterest, it might be time to give it a look)
In addition to the switch to 'Save', Pinterest has also added a new discovery element on each Pin - now when you click onto a Pin, there's a new section at the bottom which displays all the other boards to which people have also Pinned that same image. Clicking on the 'See all' option will take you through to a listing of all the boards, with a sample of the other images users have posted the picture alongside.
It's another way to help you connect with other Pinners and discover related Pin content - scrolling through the listing, you get to see a range of similar ideas and options which could help lead you to your next idea or product.
While the idea of switching from 'Pin it' to 'Save' may seem relatively minor, it's often those little details that make all the difference. As noted in Pinterest's data, the switch to 'Save' lead to an 8% boost in Pin saves, and when you consider that there are now more than 150 million "Pin it" (now 'Save') buttons being used across the web by a range of retailers, brands and publishers, an 8% increase in Pin activity - or even just a 2% boost - could prove significant.
And the word 'Save' just sounds more concrete and appealing - you're saving this image as an idea, as opposed to 'Pinning' it. 'Save' evokes more familiarity and more utility, which will no doubt play a part in the wider usage and adoption of the option.
It's the latest effort from Pinterest to convert their visual platform into a legitimate eCommerce giant. Pinterest reportedly generated around $100 million in revenue in 2015, and they've projected they'll be able to boost this to more than $2 billion by 2018. That's an ambitious target, and as such, Pinterest needs to make some big moves to position themselves as a more significant player in the online shopping space.
But the numbers are in their favor on this - as noted in the latest Mary Meeker Internet Trends report, Pinterest users, in general, approach the platform with much higher purchase intent than other social networks.
That leaves Pinterest well-placed to make itself a bigger part of the online shopping journey.
Expect to see more innovations and changes from the platform as they push to make it more functional in this regard.