Pinterest Continues To Make Search ImprovementsBy: Chris Crum - June 16, 2014
Pinterest has been focusing a lot of its efforts on search lately, and that continues with the announcement of some improvements to place search.
Back in November, Pinterest launched Place Pins for those interested in traveling. The pins provide details like addresses, phone numbers, etc.
Just ahead of the weekend, Pinterest announced that it created a faster and smarter place search feature (so far for iOS and web), making it easier to add a Place Pin to the map. This comes after it already added the ability to place images on maps in the first place and the ability to filter searches by Place Boards.
“People have been mapping Pins for all types of travel plans, such as trips to Australia, places to watch the World Cup, cycling trips, a European motorcycle adventure, best running spots, and local guides and daycations,” wrote Pinterest engineer Jon Parise.
“Even with the growth in usage of Place Pins, we knew we needed to make the place search experience more intuitive, he added. “In the beginning, the place search interface was based on two distinct inputs: one for the place’s name (the “what”) and another for the search’s geospatial constraint (the “where”). We supported searching within a named city, within the bounds of the current map view, and globally around the world. While powerful, many Pinners found this interface to be non-intuitive. Our research showed Pinners were often providing both the “what” and the “where” in the first input box, just like they do when using our site-wide search interface. With that in mind, we set out to build a more natural place search interface based on just a single text input field.”
Pinterest taps into data from Foursquare’s venue search and its open source Twofishes geocoder for its place results. Read the post for a more detailed explanation of how Pinterest uses and ranks data.
Pinterest says it already has over a billion travel pins with over 300 unique countries and territories represented in the system. It even has four million Place Boards created by users, which is pretty impressive considering the feature just launched this past November.
The new place search will hit Android soon.
All of this comes after Pinterest launched Guided Search, a powerful new vertical search feature that makes the site/apps a great deal better at being a place to find and discover things in a variety of categories. Pinterest is also starting to let businesses promote pins in search results.
Images via Pinterest