Pinterest debuts Place Pins to help users plan trips

Place Pins could be a significant new source of revenue for Pinterest

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
November 21, 2013
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(Updated to reflect comment from Pinterest)

Pinterest has gotten to the point now where it has to start generating revenue. And now those plans might have just gotten a big giant boost from a new feature the company is rolling out.

The social site has introduced Place Pins, which will allow users to plan their upcoming trips, it was announced on Wednesday.

All the user has to do is add a map, and they can start putting pins in the places that they have been, that they want to go, and to the place that they will be going. 

"About a year ago, we noticed Pinners creating more and more boards around the vacations they’re planning, special places near where they live and sites they want to see someday," Justin Edmund, Product Designer at Pinterest, wrote.

As of right now, Pinterest users are already putting Pins in 1.5 million places every day, and over 750 million have already been placed.

The Pins "were designed to combine the beautiful imagery of a travel magazine with the utility of a map online," said Edmund. The maps can be shared, and users can even create group maps, which can be collaborated on by other people who are going on the same trip.

Pinterest has even created some Maps to help people get started, including op 100 Hotels in the World from Conde Nast Traveler, Bucket List Happy Hour Spots Around the World from Matt of Land Lopers, A Chicago Pork & Whiskey Tour from Thrillist and Best Places to Visit Europe from Karen of Europe a la Carte.

A brand new revenue source

This opens Pinterest up to a whole host of new markets and potential business clients.

Of course, there will be the hotels and airlines that will no doubt want to advertise to those users who have placed Pins in their cities.

But, even more importantly, this could potentially open the company up to small businesses everywhere, who will be able to offer discounts, deals and coupons to prospective travelers and tourists. The maps can be accessed via mobile, which would allow them to send out targeted, localized ads.

Its not hard to see clients, both big and small, being added to Pinterest's Promoted Pins effort, which is how Pinterest currently does its advertising.

They work the same as any other type of pin, except they have a label at the bottom that denoted that they are "promoted." It also contains a link to learn more about what that means.

Pinterest announced in September that it would begin showing ads in certain pins, before beginning to roll them out in October. 

For now, though, Pinterest is not saying that they have any plans to use the new pins to make money.

"Place Pins is a feature which will help pinners plan the trips they want to take and the places they want to go both near and far," a Pinterest spokesperson told VatorNews. "It's a free product that anyone can use and no business is making money off it."

Pinterest's business efforts

This is just the latest move made by Pinterest to gain favor with the business community and start earning revenue.

In addition to Promoted Pins, the company also created business accounts in November of last year, and introduced new tools for them to use on those accounts. These included a verification badge, which is meant to people identify high-quality sources of content and more easily find the business they want in search results, and new buttons and widgets, such as the Pin It buttonFollow button, and Profile widget, which are meant to increase engagement from pinners and traffic back the business website.

In March, Pinterest launched an analytics tool to help businesses see how much traffic Pinterest has referred to their websites.

The tool provides information to business clients regarding activity on their Pinterest accounts, including how frequently users are clicking on their photos.

More recently,  the company hired Joanne Bradford as its Head of Partnerships. The role will require her to focus on commercial and content partnerships, aka having good relationships with businesses who want to advertise on the site.

And then last week, it launched its first API, which allows businesses to showcase their most popular Pins right on their websites.

If the company can successfully monetize Place Pins, it could become a big money maker very quickly.

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