Pinterest Board Picker Change Leads To Uptick In Pinning

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Pinterest is sharing some new information on how it uses predictive technology to suggest boards for users to pin content to. It's using smarter technology for this, and says early results have shown an increase in pinning and a reduction in the number of abandons on repin flows.

"As we make improvements to the repin flow, we've cut down on the work needed to select boards with a smart board picker on iOS and Android," a spokesperson for Pinterest tells WebProNews. "The new flow includes a 'Quick Picks' section with the most recently Pinned to board first, followed by two predictive boards."

"We use a rich collection of metadata and an algorithm based on best-scored boards for matches," the spokesperson adds. "For example, if a Pinner saves a backpack Pin, their boards suggested might be 'hiking' or 'gift ideas.'"

According to the company, the new board picker has led to a 10% reduction on the average time spent on the repin flow. At the same time, it has increased the number of pinners using Quick Picks by 15%.

The new picker has also reduced the number of pinners who edit and delete pins by 4% and 3% respectively, which Pinterest looks at as a sign that users are pinning to the right boards. The picker has also reduced abandons on the replin flow by 4%.

"The smart board picker was initially built by an intern during a hackathon, and rolled out when he joined as a full-time software engineer," the spokesperson tells us.

Pinterest software engineer Yuchen Liu talks more about the new picker in a post on the company's engineering blog, explaining how they improved it:

Our first version on iOS showed the original board picker first (with the three most recently picked boards in the Quick Picks section) while fetching the board suggestions, and then swapped them in the Quick Picks section after they were fetched. Although the numbers showed Pinners were spending less time on the repin flow and quickly picking up this feature, we noticed there was a strange increase in the number of Pinners who edited or deleted Pins. We learned the swapping of boards in Quick Picks was providing a bad user experience. Those who were trying to Pin to the recent boards would accidentally save to the wrong board when the swapping happened right before they tapped on the board.

To make a better user experience, we added a small spinning circle, blocked the area reserved for suggested boards while fetching them and kept the Pinning flow active. We still show the most recently picked board at the first slot before the two predictions, and Pinners can scroll down a list of all their boards if they don’t want to wait for suggestions. Putting Pinners first is always our priority, and this design successfully reduced the accidental Pinning to wrong boards while still achieving our goal for this feature.

Here you can see the before and after:

Pinterest has been making a variety of changes to make its service easier for people to use. One of the biggest changes was the addition of Guided Search, which Microsoft's Bing search engine is now basically emulating.

Earlier this month, Pinterest announced the launch of a new Pin It flow to make savings things easier and faster. More on that here. It also made changes to make it easier to share content to Facebook.

Images via Pinterest

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.