Pinterest integrates maps with Place PinNovember 20, 2013
At a “Place Pins” launch at the San Francisco headquarters of Pinterest, CEO Ben Silbermann stated that the site now has 750 million location-specific pins, to which users are adding 1.5 million pins every day.
Pinterest is a site which enables users to upload and collate photographs and videos linked to other webpages. Users ‘pin’ this content to specific interest collections, (known as ‘boards’), on their Pinterest profile. Place Pins were designed to combine the beautiful imagery of a travel magazine with the utility of a map online, to share with friends.
Silbermann said, “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. We asked ourselves, how can we help people turn their travel inspiration into reality?”
“Today, we’re taking a first step toward that goal with Place Pins .. part of Pinterest’s larger mission to get people offline: to inspire you to go out and do things you love.” For many people, Pinterest is a travel-planning tool.
Now, instead of being displayed on tiled boards, users can now elect to display travel-related pins to a precise location on a world map. Users can share or collaborate on pin-filled maps and refer to them to find locations via mobile, while out-on-the-town or planning travel to foreign countries. Place Pins can also include details like the address and phone number right on the Pin.
The maps were built with the help of Foursquare, Stamen and MapBox, and partners like Airbnb, Yelp and TripAdvisor are providing structured data which appears in pins. Users can manually add location information to their existing pins through an integration with Foursquare, or add new pins with location information, as long as they come from partner sites like TripAdvisor, Trulia, Atlas Obscura and Jetsetter. Someone can look up a business on Pinterest’s mobile app, and if it is indexed by Foursquare, pin it to a map, and get directions from their current location.
Place Pins will impact on the trip planning market and may provide vigorous competition to sites offering travel inspiration and trip planning, such as Gogobot, Mygola, Plnnr, Touristeye, TripAdvisor, TripIt, Utrip, Vayable and Wanderfly.
Place Pins was launched simultaneously for the web, Android and iOS. More than 75% of Pinterest’s traffic now originates from handheld devices, the major traffic avenue since August 2012.
The latest in a series of launches, place pins follow other ‘rich pins’ for products, recipes, movies and articles. Jon Jenkins, Pinterest head of engineering stated “Ultimately, every pin has to become a rich pin. The key is to figure out the particular data for every type of rich pin. For songs, that might mean listing the artist. For recipes, that means listing the ingredients.”
While Facebook, Instagram and other social networks enable the upload of photos, Pinterest has become a core platform due to its ease of use and the format of boards on specific topics. It permits collectors to express their interests in customised general or highly-specific boards. Pinterest has become extremely popular and currently has 70 million users with 2.5 billion page views a month.
For manufacturers and retailers, it is a platform enabling direct contact with consumers.
In 2013, the company raised $225 million and is valued at $3.8 billion.
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