Posted November 14, 2013 4:28 pm by with 0 comments

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Pinterest is promoting an interesting shift in their business model – pins that aren’t on Pinterest!

As of today, several popular brands now have trending Pinterest feeds on their websites. It’s an interesting mix of sites that includes retailers, lifestyle sites and news sites.

Here are a few examples:

zappos pins

Zappos is using a Top Pins page to encourage shoppers to buy as well as pin. When you roll over an item, you get a popup that shows the item name, price and a pin it button. If you click, you go straight to the item’s sale page (not to Pinterest). One more click and it’s in your shopping cart.

Note the red circles that show how long an item has been trending. This reinforces not only the fact that the item is hot but that it’s a growing trend. Very clever.

whole foods pins

Whole Foods did a great job creating a Top Pins landing page that fits in with the style of their website. They’re a grocery chain and their top pins are all recipes. Click and it opens into the full recipe card page. There’s a glitch with this one. If you pin from the full recipe page, the description box grabs all of the intro text from the page. If you pin from the Top Pins page, all you get is “Pinterest | Whole Foods Market”. That’s no good.

babble pinterest page

Babble, Disney’s family lifestyle site, is using the Top Pins app to promote content. Click the pin and you go to the original blog post or feature on the Babble site. You can pin straight from the image and the title of the piece shows up in the description box. This is a great way to keep popular content circulating but the entire page (which includes a sidebar on the right as well) is cluttered and it’s hard to pick out the pins.

random house pins

Random House is using the tool to help you discover your next book. I found this page to be the most perplexing. First, other than the “Powered by Pinterest” note at the top, there’s nothing here that says Pinterest. If you roll over the covers you’ll see a re-Pin button along with a large number, which I assume is the number of repins.

If that’s true, then these can’t be the “top pins” because Hollow City only has 2. A Maya Angelou book, three rows down has more than 600 pins. So I’m going to assume they’re using a different filter. They also have a duplicate in the top row which is annoying. I’m also not fond of the size of the images and the lack of white space. This shrunk-down, single row doesn’t look bad but click through to the full page – it’s overwhelming.

Overall, I think Powered by Pinterest is an interesting tool that should help these sites increase sales and keep readers on the page longer. I particularly like that the tool looks different from site to site. It feels integrated, not like an add-on.

The big question is, will Pinterest open this app up to everyone or is it only for the chosen few?