• A “News” Spin on Pinning

    by  • October 9, 2013 • Features • 1 Comment

    By MICHELE MATTIA

    “Oh, I saw that on Pinterest!” is a common phrase said by users in search of fashion and gossip trends, referring to the photo-sharing website that is growing in popularity.  But now, news has been added to the list of Pinterest content.

    The Business Insider reports 3.4 billion Pinterest monthly page views from its 25 million members worldwide, according to the most recent tally in April 2013.

    Clicking on the upper left hand corner of the homepage leads you to endless categories to choose from, to see what others are “pinning” about that topic.  Travel, women’s fashion, technology, food and drink, products and sports, are some of these categories, among numerous others to choose from. But, lately Pinterest is not just being used so Girl Scout troop leaders can discover new DIY crafts.  It has become a much broader spectrum for various news organizations to use as a tool to market their sites.

    “In my case working in Features, Pinterest comes in handy with food and fashion stories,” said Elyse Toribio, a 23-year-old recent graduate of Ramapo and Editorial Assistant for Travel and Features at The Record.

    “This past Easter, for example, we had a story about what to do with leftover candy. I took to Pinterest and found countless recipes, and the bloggers who’d posted their original recipes were happy to share photos with me.  We also run a regular feature where we highlight a current fashion trend, like tweed or leather accents, and then list where readers can buy them. A lot of Pinterest users will have fashion boards, so typing in a search term will turn up plenty of items that people are into,” she said.

    Ben Silbermann, co-founder and CEO of Pinterest and Evan Sharp, head of the site’s creative team are the masterminds behind the website that was founded in California in 2010 as means for collecting and organizing topics of personal interests found online.

    There’s no argument that the world of Pinterest has exploded.  According to the Business Insider,  Pinterest is currently valued at $2.5 million and draws in 25 million members, a number that is growing daily. The chosen categories lead users to pins that others on the site, such as companies and everyday people have been pinning relating to the topic.  For example, clicking on the hair and beauty category may lead users to the latest hairstyle trends, newest OPI nail colors, or even certain deals or sales that can help one save on beauty products.

    The layout of a typical Pinterest page.
    PHOTO/ onlinemarketinginstitute.org

    Once a photo is clicked on, users click once more, leading them to the home site that the pin was originally linked from.  Users then have the ability to create different boards to store and organize their pins so they can go back at a later time and find them.

    But news organizations have jumped into the platform using it for content on their website they hope to circulate via pinning.

    So What is the News Spin on Pinterest?

    News organization editors have began to archive content from their site onto Pinterest using different boards relevant to content on their website.  The New York Times, being a powerful news source nationwide has used this to their advantage, archiving pins that lead to articles/news content on their site through the click of a pin.  From winter drinks to New York Fashion Week, the pins will always stay stored no matter how old the news may get.

    This move is attracting a different audience to the site.

    Amber Wiseburn, 24, has admitted that she has not used Pinterest to get news, but has used it as a major tool for her interest in fashion.

    “I use Pinterest mostly for fashion and beauty inspiration. Majority of the outfits I put together have been inspired through Pinterest. Out of all my boards “My Imaginary Closet” has thousands of posts,” she said.

    Bruce Tomaso, a breaking news editor at The Dallas Morning News, found a new way to set up a breaking news story by using a Pinterest board to compile a collection of photos and videos shot by staff, sent in by readers, or posted on social media to showcase the news of a severe hailstorm in Dallas on June 13, 2012.  It allowed for the citizen journalists to actively be involved in telling the story as well.

    Businesses such as Macy’s are also using Pinterest to highlight their products and even have “pin it to win” contests that involve circulating one of their pins in order to enter.  That way, their products can get marketed and the user has a chance to win as well.  Neither party goes wrong.

    Pinterest is constantly finding ways to improve the accessibility of their content to users.  According to Pinterest’s official blog, 5 million articles are pinned each day.  Articles found on Pinterest will now include the headline, author, story description and the link included on the pin.  According to Poynter.org, Pinterest is becoming a key tool for journalists for reasons such as highlighting feature content, resurfacing old content, responding to news events, showcasing local events and attractions and for reaching new audiences.

    In addition, new features are on the horizon such as availability on Facebook Home for Android, which allows the user to have some of their favorite pins right on their lock screen.

    “I’d say it’s more of a research tool than a storytelling tool,” Toribio said.

    How Pinterest is Building New Audiences

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    One Response to A “News” Spin on Pinning

    1. Anonymous
      October 10, 2013 at 4:16 pm

      I have heard about pinterest before, but never knew how it worked and what it actually did. It sounds interesting almost like picture news. Possible suggestions on optimizing the name could be as simple as “News uses Pinterest”

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