I go to Pinterest for inspiration but skimming my personal feed rarely does the trick. Because everything in my feed comes from people I follow, it tends to be very predictable and repetitive. What I prefer to do is search for images from people I don’t follow. Sadly, Pinterest’s search engine isn’t very intuitive and it can be hard to find the right words to get the results I want.
In order to facilitate pin discovery, Pinterest is trying something new called “related pins.” These are images that come from people you don’t follow. And don’t confuse them with Sponsored Pins. Related pins are just randomly chosen images that Pinterest thinks you might enjoy.
You’ll know it’s a related pin because it says so right at the bottom. If you click the information circle, you’ll learn more about why this pin is now in your feed and you have the option of giving it a thumbs up or down. The engine will then take your suggestion and either send you more or less of the same depending on which thumb you picked.
Here’s how Pinterest chooses related pins:
The related Pins that we pick for you are based on other things you already like or are interested in, including:
Pins you’ve added, liked or clicked on
Boards you follow
Sites you may have visited recently. (Learn more about how we use sites you visit to personalize your experience, and how you can turn this off you’re not interested.)
As always, the Pinterest announcement post is full of soft, calming language about how they’re going to start slow and how you can stop it anytime you want.
Personally, I love it. It’s great for both the viewers and the pinners because it’s a chance to connect with a member you might not have found on your own.
But of course, people are upset about the concept. The main complaint is that people carefully choose who to follow and they don’t want their feed clogged up with irrelevant images. Honestly, people, Pinterest is a social site. It wasn’t designed to be a bookmarking service. It’s about sharing and discovery. If you can’t tolerate a few images tossed into the mix – not even branded images, but images from average people who enjoy using the site – then perhaps you should use a different service.
My advice? Just try it. I think you’ll like it.
What do you think? Are related pins a good or bad idea?