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5 Suggestions to Improve Pinterest

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Pinterest is the newest social media phenomena, as it now attracts more new online traffic than most of the other social media web sites combined. At Pinterest, users can post (or “pin”) pictures of various items grouped by category, much like a online photo album or scrapbook. The groups of pictures, which can originate from any web site, blog or social media site, are called “pin boards” and are shared with other Pinterest users. Pinterest allows users to connect by giving an option to “follow” each other, and “like” or “re-pin” other’s pictures.

The Pinterest interface has changed several times since its inception in March 2010. Pinterest is now attempting to get more “social” by encouraging more connection between users. Slowly, the Pinterest programmers are incorporating elements into their platform that are popular at other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter.

As much fun and as addictive as Pinterest can be, the format can surely be improved. Here are five suggestions to improve Pinterest. Most of the suggestions simply transfer other popular elements from other social media sites to the Pinterest platform.

First, Pinterest users should have more creative options to customize the home page. You should have the ability to change background wallpaper, themes, colors, fonts, etc. as part of the Pinterest experience. One of the most addictive features of Pinterest is the creative outlet that it offers. Web sites are constantly looking for ways to keep users at the site longer, and Pinterest should consider creative options to customize the home page to help achieve that.

Second, users should have more control over the arrangement and display of pins and pin boards. Limited control is offered currently (rearranging the order of pin boards on a user home page, for instance), but more options would greatly enhance the experience. You should be able to group and categorize pin boards, rather than just have them all displayed side by side. Also, there should be the option to keep some pin boards private. You would pin more pictures of family and friends if there was a private option for pin boards. With the most recent format change, now each pin board has a “featured image” that is larger than the other pins on the board. Currently, this image is the last image pinned, whereas it would be better to have users choose which pin is used as featured image.

Third, users should be able to follow pin boards as well as people. Currently, if you see a pin board of “Favorite Places to Visit in New York” and want to follow updates on that board, you have to follow that user and all of her boards, or follow the board and not be able to refer back to it. You should be able to just follow that one pin board if you want, and be able to refer back for updates.

Fourth, where is the messaging? Again, if Pinterest wants users to spend more time at the site, direct messaging between others that you follow needs to be offered. Public comments can be left for the user for a less personal level of connection, but perhaps there’s a question or comment that you don’t want to post publicly. You should be able to direct message that user privately.

Fifth, improve the comments section, likes and re-pins. Currently, when other users comment on a pin, the comments are listed and scroll below the image. Extensive commenting can cause a long scroll, so collapsing the comments would surely improve the aesthetics of the home page display. A familiar tiny plus/minus toggle next to the word “Comments” would allow you to expand them to read, and then collapse them again to conserve screen space. Also, you should be able to hover your mouse arrow over the word “likes” and “re-pins” on each image and be able to see names, Currently, it’s a challenge to figure out who’s following you, and who has liked or re-pinned your images.

Using Pinterest is already a pleasure and even addictive for many, but the creative design can be vastly improved. Find out more information on using Pinterest for your business.

By Marty Wolner
Social Media Marketing in concert….I hear a symphony!
MaestroSocialMedia.com featuring Social Media 101 and the Social Media Marketing Tool Box.
  • http://webdesy.com/ Kenneth von Rauch

    Thanks for the post. Yeah, I’d personally love to be able to communicate directly at Pinterest. Plus, being able to change the background would be really handy as well. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1009855654 Marty Wolner

      Yes, Pinterest needs to get more “social” which includes direct messaging. Rumors of even more improvements at Pinterest are encouraging.
      Marty @ MaestroSocialMedia.com

  • Sheree Anderson

    Personally I think the background change idea is a bit much. Each individual’s page is basically already ‘decorated’ by pins or boards, a blank background is less distracting and sort of a canvas because that’s what a real life pinboard is like. Also, it prevents it from looking like Myspace and Lord knows we don’t want that to happen. Love all the other suggestions! I think also a maturity filter would be good too like what deviantArt has. 

  • http://eckertbrandremarkable.wordpress.com/ Joshua Eckert

    I disagree with background change because it makes the barrage of pictures less legible.  Needless distraction was a flaw for Bing, and Pinterest noticed. 

    I like the second suggestion.  People make their boards look as good as possible when they get deliberate about the arrangement of pins.  Having boards look their best ought to be a higher priority than making a big show of which pins are most recently posted.

    Here’s my suggestion:

    There should be a “recommend pin for this board” feature so users can suggest pins for OTHER
    people’s boards.  Users would choose to allow or disallow suggestions. 
    Worried about spammers?  Limit each user to one pin recommendation per
    day.  Easy Peasy Japaneasy.

  • Blumuun

    I would add to this, the ability to organize “likes,” more options for categories, and a more customizable search function.

  • robin bussian

    I agree with all of the above especially being able to change the background colour….being able to do that would have a huge bearing on the creativity of your board and it can alter the whole dimension of your display to a fabulous aesthetic and really enhance the look of the boards….eg if you are doing a gothic board it is imperative to have a black background otherwise they are just a group of pictures not really displayed….please do this. For people who dont want to change their background they dont have to….just plain colours would be wonderful….to be used or not but to have that option…fantastic!! The other suggestions are great….being able to send private messages, a way of organising your likes.