The North Face, Modcloth and Fotopedia are among a handful of brands trying out a new Pinterest feature that lets consumers pin items directly from mobile applications to Pinterest boards.
The new Pinterest feature points to the growing need from brands to pack their mobile apps with features and also hints to some future monetization efforts from Pinterest. Pinterest is also rolling out new Web features that are meant to give brands better insight into their content.
“Pinning is by far our No. 1 most used sharing mechanism on the desktop – it is currently used eight times more than any other social sharing tool on our site,” said Fontaine Foxworth, associate product manager at Modcloth, San Francisco.
“When we realized that pinning would now be available on apps, we were jumping for joy,” she said. “By bringing one of our girl's favorite features to a key part of her shopping experience, we think we will make her ModCloth browsing even more aspirational and seamless than before.”
How it works
The new feature essentially syncs the Pinterest app with a brand’s app. Previously, native apps could not pin content directly.
For example, 14 of Fotopedia’s mobile apps have been loaded with an option to share articles on Pinterest while consumers browse through content.
When consumers click on the option, the Pinterest app is automatically opened. Consumers who do not have the Pinterest app downloaded can click to download it from either Apple’s App Store or Google Play.
From there, consumers can pick a board to add the pin to and create a caption. Once the pin has been added, the Pinterest app automatically closes and consumers are dropped back into the Fotopedia app.
Additionally, a call-to-action at the bottom of Fotopedia’s app encourages consumers to download the Pinterest app.
“Pinterest's mission is to help you discover the things you love and do these things in real life,” said Christophe Daligault, senior vice president of global business at Fotopedia, San Francisco.
“Fotopedia's mission is to help you share your passions visually in stunningly beautiful visual stories,” he said. “Making mobile pinning available in our apps was a no-brainier.”
The feature is being initially launched with ten mobile apps – Modcloth, Etsy, TED, Jetsetter, Behance, Brit + Co, Fotopedia, Snapguide, The North Face and Zulily.
Modcloth is kicking off an app contest to celebrate the new feature.
App users are encouraged to pin items from the app through 6 p.m. on May 23 for a chance to win a $200 gift certificate. Additionally, the top ten pinned items will go on sale.
Pinterest’s new mobile features point to a growing need for brands’ mobile apps to include more comprehensive information, similar to a Web site.
“As consumers are being more involved with apps, there is a lot of demand to make it easier to integrate popular social networks with a native app experience,” said Alex Morgan, sales manager at GPShopper, New York.
“Facebook’s app ads or Twitter’s sponsored tweets are another example of the push toward native app experience,” he said.
GPShopper worked with The North Face to enable Pinterest sharing in the brand’s app.
New advertising opportunities
In addition to the new mobile button, Pinterest has enabled more information to display within Web pins.
For example, additional information about a product, recipe or movie may now be included in a pin.
Similar to the mobile feature, a handful of brands have been announced that are testing the new Web functionality, including Target, Walmart, Urban Outfitters, Time Inc.’s Real Simple, Condé Nast’s Bon Appetit and Netflix.
One of advertisers’ biggest challenges with Pinterest is tracking down the site that a pin leads to because it might not lead to the brand’s site, where a sale or action could presumably happen.
With the new tools, advertisers might be willing to invest more in Pinterest if content can be directly tracked back to their site.
As Pinterest continues to iron out its monetization efforts, pin visibility is likely to be one of the social media site’s main uses to drive traffic.
Up until now, using Pinterest to pin items from a mobile device has been cumbersome.
Similar to other social media sites, nailing a solid mobile experience is the first step in many of helping drive advertising interest and revenue.
Pinterest’s mobile feature could also help increase app retention if consumers are able to fluidly switch from a brand’s mobile app to Pinterest.
Additionally, the feature could help marketers tie engagement into mobile ads, according to Dave Shaw, social strategist atResource, Columbus, OH.
“I think it might add another viable call-to-action to mobile ads,” Mr. Shaw said.
“Consumer co-creation is not just an earned impression, it’s an earned impression with some influence, some passion,” he said.
“If an advertiser can drive a consumer to not just see an ad, but do something with it engagement is higher and advertiser confidence that the message resonated and actually mattered is now higher. Display ads have been moving in an interesting co-creation direction through mechanisms like allowing the submission of product views in banner. Maybe enabling simple pinning from mobile experiences can start to move mobile ads in that co-creation direction as well.”