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Pinterest promises richer content, more recommendations

The site's head of engineering talks about recent product changes and outlines how Pinterest will grow. It includes more focus on mobile and, eventually, partnerships with outside developers.

Donna Tam Staff Writer / News
Donna Tam covers Amazon and other fun stuff for CNET News. She is a San Francisco native who enjoys feasting, merrymaking, checking her Gmail and reading her Kindle.
Donna Tam
2 min read
Pinterest's Head of Engineering Jon Jenkins. Pinterest

Pinterest wants you to have a richer experience on Pinterest, which means more recommendations and more information squeezed into each pin.

The site's head of engineering, Jon Jenkins, told a group of journalists on Wednesday that users can expect to see more of both as the company builds up its "interest graph," a way to harness the power of overlapping pins and interests.

"This has been Ben's goal from the beginning," Jenkins said of CEO Ben Silbermann's vision for the graph.

To enhance its pins, Pinterest added animated pinning recently and has added more information to recipe, movie and product pins. Recipe pins may show ingredients, products pins may include pricing, and movies pins would list movie information. Jenkins said these additions are not so much keeping people on Pinterest as it is about helping its content providers. For example, the recipe pins may show ingredients but not the actual recipe instructions. For that, users will need to go to the original source.

"What we think is really important is the discovery of the recipe," he said. "The ingredients are a key part of that discovery."

While those are the only types of pins that get this type of treatment right now, Jenkins said he could see this applied to music or a number of interests, including a personal favorite, snowboarding. Eventually, Pinterest will have this kind of data available for every type of pin.

"For me, a ski mountain is a really interesting place, there's all kinds of meta data I would want to know about a ski area, like what's the vertical dip," he said.

In addition to adding more data to pins and recommendations, Pinterest is working to ensure the site can continue to add more pins and users, focus on designing Pinterest for different mobile devices, and, eventually, launch an application programming interface (API). Jenkins wouldn't say when the API was launching, but the API will let more independent developers create application using the information from Pinterest and its interest graph, similar to how Facebook has apps.