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Pinterest takes on TikTok with new tab to watch short videos

The redesigned home feed includes two sections: browse and watch.

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Pinterest allows users to save images and videos to virtual boards.

Getty Images

Pinterest said Wednesday it's revamping its home feed, adding a new tab called Watch where people can scroll through short videos or a series of photos. 

The new tab looks similar to TikTok's feed, where you can quickly swipe up or down to watch videos. Pinterest users can save the content to their profile and "pin" it to a virtual board. Pinterest's Watch feed highlights content shared through "Idea Pins," which allow users to add multiple images, videos, lists and text to one Pin. Another tab called Browse displays several images and videos and resembles Pinterest's current feed. 

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Pinterest's home feed includes a new "Watch" tab.

Pinterest

The redesign could help Pinterest entice users to spend more time on the platform. It's also another example of how tech companies are showcasing video on their platforms as they compete with popular short-form video app TikTok. In July, Pinterest said it had 454 million monthly active users, a 5% drop from the 478 million users the company reported in April. The company attributed the decline to people spending less time at home as pandemic restrictions eased. 

Compared with other social networks, Pinterest has mostly avoided scandals around misinformation, hate speech and mental health that continue to plague sites such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. 

"We think of ourselves as the positive corner on the internet," said Annie Ta, who heads inclusive product at Pinterest. "What's really different about the experience that we're trying to build, is that not only are we giving people the power to control their own experience on Pinterest, we're also trying to build this type of community between the creators and the people looking at their content online." 

While Pinterest has faced fewer controversies than its rivals, the company hasn't been completely immune from scrutiny. Former employees have publicly accused Pinterest of gender and racial bias in the workplace, and the company has pledged to make improvements. 

Pinterest is unveiling other new features at its second annual creators festival, a virtual event being live streamed in Australia, France, Germany, the UK and the US on Wednesday.

To help users connect with creators, Pinterest said it's introducing a feature called "Takes" that lets users respond to a creator's idea with their own Idea Pin. For example, users who see a creator cooking a new recipe could post a video of themselves trying out the idea. Creators will have to enable the ability for users to respond to their content with their own takes. When users create an Idea Pin, they have to agree to a code that reminds them to be kind, check their facts and to do no harm. Short-form video is also a way for Pinterest to expand its push into e-commerce. Creators can add shopping recommendations on their Idea Pins. 

Pinterest is also investing $20 million in creators as part a new program launching in the US called Creator Rewards. Creators who meet certain engagement-based goals could receive money. The company is also planning to provide micro-grants for projects. Pinterest is releasing a new content series called Creator Originals that features more 100 creators across 10 countries.