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Pinterest expands layout, features for 'pinned' news articles

On the heels of announcing its first ad initiative, the social network is revamping its offerings for media shared on the site.

Richard Nieva Former senior reporter
Richard Nieva was a senior reporter for CNET News, focusing on Google and Yahoo. He previously worked for PandoDaily and Fortune Magazine, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times, on CNNMoney.com and on CJR.org.
Richard Nieva
2 min read

Pinterest is introducing a new look for articles that users share on the Web site, the company announced Tuesday in a blog post.

When a user posts an article, it will now include more information, such as the story's headline, author, description, and a link back to the original post. Users also can save a story to read later, create different boards to categorize stories by topic, and follow specific writers -- like the Washington Post's Tim Devaney -- to see more of that author's work in their Pinterest feeds.

Pinterest's new article pins Pinterest
Pinterest said the extra article information will show up automatically, as long as the media outlet has provided the right metadata for each article. The company claims more than 5 million articles are "pinned" each day.

The announcement comes at a time when the tech industry is oddly romantic about the news industry -- which may be surprising when the narrative around Silicon Valley for the last several years had been digital media's pummeling of traditional journalism. Now we have a Jeff Bezos-owned Washington Post.

But there are other parallels more pertinent to Pinterest's announcement: When Facebook redesigned its News Feed in March, CEO Mark Zuckerberg likened the new layout to a newspaper. (The team even created a fictional newspaper called the Monterey Daily and mocked up a front page to prove the point.) The new design boasted bigger pictures and summaries of articles so shared news stories could look more prominent. The design, of course, catered nicely to some of the ad initiatives Facebook later had up its sleeve, and the company's advertising business is a big reason for Facebook's resurgent stock.

Pinterest, for its part, last week announced that it will begin testing its own ad initiative. The company will try out native advertising in the form of "promoted pins." These will be created by brands and will show up in a user's search results or various category feeds. The company said it will not charge for initial tests of the ad product.