Pinterest is testing a tool that allows certain people to post a series of photos and videos that include text, music or voiceovers.
"As we look to the future, we've decided it's time to push our mission to inspire even further. It's time to do more than connect people to what inspires them," Evan Sharp, Pinterest's co-founder who leads design efforts at the company, said during a virtual press conference. Sharp said the new feature, called Story Pins, will connect users "directly with the people who inspire them." That group includes the interior designers, fashion bloggers and other creators who have adopted the lifestyle-focused social media site to showcase their expertise.
The move by Pinterest underscores the popularity of video on social media sites. The ephemeral messaging app Snapchat first released Stories in 2013, giving users a way to post photos and videos that vanish in 24 hours. Since then, other tech companies, including Facebook-owned Instagram, Google-owned YouTube, Twitter, Microsoft-owned LinkedIn and now Pinterest, have jumped on the bandwagon by creating their own versions of Stories. Adding music to videos is becoming more common since the popularity of apps such as TikTok has skyrocketed over the past two years.
"We hear a lot from Pinners who love video as a way to help them understand how to take action on something," David Temple, who heads content, creator and Homefeed product at Pinterest, said in an interview.
Pinterest lets you save images and videos you find online to a virtual board, making it easier for people to plan weddings, gather recipe ideas, put together an outfit or do other activities. While the site is mainly filled with photos, the amount of video on Pinterest has also been growing rapidly, Temple said. Now Pinterest is testing Story Pins in the US with select creators, who can sign up for the new feature through Pinterest's website. The company plans to expand Story Pins within the US and roll out the feature globally in the next few months.
Pinners, which is the term the company uses to refer to people who use Pinterest, will be able to save the Story Pins they see from creators to a virtual board so they can watch the series of videos and photos whenever they want. Unlike Stories on other social media sites, Story Pins don't vanish in 24 hours. Some creators who have been testing out the tool have been using Story Pins to show others how to make masks, highlight the best jeans for curvy women, showcase recipes or share interior decorating tips.
Pinterest will show users Story Pins on their home feed, search results and a tab that features curated topics and Pins. Users can react to a Story Pin with emojis such as a heart, smiley face or light bulb. Pinterest is also adding a section on a creator's profile so users can spot what content they created and saved.
Making it easier for users to share more video and photos could also create content moderation challenges for Pinterest. Misinformation and hate speech is still a big concern across all social networks. Stories not only fuel the volume of content already on social media sites but content moderators also have to analyze a series of images or videos rather than just a single post to determine if a Story violates a site's rules.
Temple said that the content that performs well on Pinterest is about home, style and beauty not politics.
"We won't ever turn on global creation for everyone unless we feel absolutely certain that we can do so in a way that would maintain that positivity," Temple said.