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Pinterest starts predicting your interests

The social-networking service is directing you to more things you might like.

Pinterest Interests Pinterest

Pinterest is debuting a special interests section designed to hand-hold its desktop audience of more than 48 million people through the inspiration process.

Beginning Monday, members will find an "Explore Interests" option at the top of the category menu on the Web site. The link directs them to the interests page, personalized based on the things that they've pinned in the past. With the launch, the social network for "pinning" photos, videos, and now GIFs to digital pin-boards expands beyond exploration through categories and moves into the realm of predictions.

"Before today, all the billions of Pins on Pinterest were organized into just a handful of broad categories. So if you were browsing for ideas for your yard, you had to go somewhere like 'Gardening' and sift through all the Pins," the company wrote in a blog post. "If you've collected lots of Pins that show climbing plants and wall ferns, your interests page might recommend vertical gardens for you to check out."

On first glance, the product seems startlingly accurate, capable of immediately surfacing pins that are indeed of interest to this particular reporter. Still, the 4-year-old company is calling the release a "preview," which just means, in typical startup fashion, that Pinterest hopes people won't confuse this half-baked dish for something fully cooked. Also, interests are Web-only for the time being, though a mobile version is said to be coming soon.

Pinterest says that it hopes the interests section will help people find and save more of the things they love, which makes sense. The more preoccupied people are with the service, the easier it will be for Pinterest to sell advertisements -- that is, whenever the company decides it wants to charge for them.