In an Espresso Shot last week, I speculated that standardised branding practices would lean heavily towards visual networks like Instagram as social media and the marketing industry continue to evolve and intertwine. The top dogs at Pinterest must have been reading, because they’ve just announced that they will be rolling out business pages and special accounts for marketers.
Connections were made early on between Pinterest’s visual corkboard structure and the possibilities of online catalogues someday, and retailers were among the earliest users of the network. But for the moment, Pinterest’s business pages won’t actually appear any different to regular profiles, with the small exception that users aren’t required to enter a first and last name – a single brand name can be used. Integration with internal sites will also be encouraged, with two new widgets enabling businesses to display pins and boards on their own websites.
While it has enjoyed a consistently growing user base this year, Pinterest remains something of an inessential, novelty network – but its recent acquisitions indicate that it is ready to join the big league. New team members include Don Faul, former head of operations at Facebook, and Tim Kendall, who directed Facebook’s monetisation strategy.
According to product manager Cat Lee, however, this new development is “nothing to do with monetization or [Pinterest’s] business model. We know that when we do introduce a business model, we definitely want to design it in a way that makes the user experience better, but this announcement is just about taking that first step.”