Is Pinterest vying for a spot as the "next" search engine? This week, it revealed that it would be rolling out guided search on Pinterest.com, just like it did for its mobile app back in April. Guided search is a way to actively discover content on Pinterest, versus just passively scrolling the home feed, for example.
“Now when you search for something, descriptive guides will help you sift through all the good ideas from other Pinners,” Pinterest said in its announcement. “Scroll through the guides and click any that look interesting to steer your search in the right direction. You might be surprised where you end up!”
Pinterest has also expanded its search bar to make it a more prominent feature on the site. Here’s a brief video to demonstrate how guided search works:
All of these adjustments to Pinterest functionality over time demonstrate the site's vision for the future. Pair guided search with the "interests" feature that aims to offer more relevant content to users based on interests, and you can see the beginnings of an engine that could be a go-to resource when it comes to the type of information Pinterest collects.
Other notable moves by Pinterest in the past year include the launch of its Place Pins, which catapulted the platform into a network ripe for local marketing. Place Pins allowed brands in the hospitality industry to feature hotels, restaurants, and bars in Pinterest’s interactive map, discoverable by users when they are planning a trip, for example.
Pinterest described it as a local engine, of sorts, saying, "Place Pins were designed to combine the beautiful imagery of a travel magazine with the utility of a map online so you can share it with friends. You can access them from anywhere on your smartphone, too, which means you can find new places on the go and even get directions! Place Pins also include extra details like the address and phone number right on the Pin so you can easily pull up useful info on a weekend adventure or before a night out.”
Michael Lopp, a key player on the MAC OS X engineering team, takes the lead for Pinterest's engineering team, drawing upon his experience at Netscape, Symantec, and Borland. Lopp will lead the Pinterest technical team with a focus on product development and scale.
Pinterest says guided search for Pinterest.com will be available in English to everyone over the next few weeks.