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Pinterest announces new trip planning tool called Place Pins

At a press event at company headquarters, Pinterest unveils a feature that lets users highlight places and sites on a map.

SAN FRANCISCO -- Pinterest on Wednesday announced a product called Place Pins, a new tool that helps people to plan trips and highlight local spots of interest.

"We thought, how do we turn pins -- little pieces of information -- into action?" Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann said at a press event at Pinterest headquarters here.

The layout for Place Pins has a newly designed "pin board" with a map that takes up the majority of the screen, while the familiar tiles run along the left edge of the screen.

Users can then pin places like bars or sites in a certain city on the map and add descriptions so they can visit them on their eventual trip. The company has partnered with services like OpenTable, Trulia, and Booking.com so pins include bits of information about each place. Users can also look up the pins on the go with iOS and Android apps, both going live Wednesday evening.

The detail that got the biggest crowd reaction from the crowd -- filled with a handful of press and lots of avid Pinterest users -- was the ability to share an entire board with a friend.

Allowing users to pin local haunts puts the company in the same realm as local search services like Yelp and Foursquare, and the business opportunities in adding a location-based feature are intriguing.

Pinterest has also been expanding its relationship with outside brands eager to leverage the Web site's audience. Last week, the company announced that it would partner with brands like Target, Whole Foods, and Disney to display top "pinned" items on their Web sites. The initiative is made possible by API tools that the company recently shared with partners.

Regardless of the company's recent expansion, Silbermann has already indicated that the company isn't thinking about going public anytime soon -- this despite being in a booming atmosphere for social media companies where Twitter's IPO went off without a hitch and Snapchat has spurned multi-billion offers to sell.