Last year, Pinterest launched Guided Search, a revamp to its search feature enabling users to find things they didn't necessarily know they were looking for. You can start with a relatively vague keyword, and get additional options to add to help "guide" you in different directions. It's essentially a nice way of presenting search recommendations.
The company has been hard at work on improving Guided Search, and on Friday, revealed some of what it has been working on.
Pinterest has famously been seen as a more female-oriented service. While there are plenty of men using it, there's no question which way the gender needle slants. The number of men has been growing, however, and improvements to Guided Search are reflecting that.
"If you do a lot of searching on Pinterest, you may already have noticed the results you’re seeing are better than ever," says Pinterest engineer Pei Yin in a blog post. "For example, say you’re looking for a new watch. Before when you searched Pinterest for 'watches,' your results would include mostly women’s timepieces. But now, men will see Pins and guides inspired by what other guys have Pinned, and everybody’s results should feel a lot closer to what they’re looking for. Of course if you ever want results for another gender, like if you’re shopping for a gift for someone else, you can always use the guides to fine-tune your search."
"These customized search results appear for thousands of different search terms," Yin adds. "The next time you’re on Pinterest, try searching for hair, shoes or health and see for yourself how spot on your results are."
As the company notes, if you're not getting content for your gender, you may want to check your settings and make sure you have the right one selected.
A Pinterest spokesperson tells WebProNews, "We've already seen these improvements result in a double digit lift in engagement, similar to recent updates to the new user experience which show trending interests for each gender to choose from as they get started."
They also shared some new growth stats with us. For one, Pinterest's male user base in the U.S. grew 73% year-over-year.
"We're not only growing among males, but on the coasts, where monthly active usage is much higher than other parts of the country," the spokesperson says. "For example, New York is growing 50% faster than Minnesota, and DC 78% faster than Utah. The fastest growing states are Hawaii, New Jersey, Maryland, New York and Rhode Island."
On the gender note, the top interests followed by men include (in order): men's apparel, technology, travel, gardening, recipes, gadgets, design, luxury cars, tattoos, and camping. Trending searches by men include: men’s short hair, cinema 4d, ham radio, cool watches for men, mens tattoo ideas, fixed gear, shoulder tattoo men, hifi, rat rod, and kayak fishing.
Pinterest also shared some high-growth categories (% from 2013-2014):
Cars & Motorcycles: 134%
Men's Fashion: 122%
Health & Fitness: 84%
% growth in categories from 2012-2014:
Cars & Motorcycles: 844%
Men's Fashion: 787%
Health & Fitness: 531%
Pinterest says it has a lot more improvements to search coming soon, and now that Promoted Pins are out (and doing well apparently), it's certainly in Pinterest's best interest to improve its search feature as much as possible, now that it's being monetized.
This week, the company announced that it has acquired the team and technology behind recommendation and commerce startup Kosei, which it will use to accelerate its discovery and monetization efforts.
“The team includes some of the best minds in machine learning, data science and recommendation engines, who’ve created a unique technology stack that drives commerce by making highly personalized and powerful product recommendations,” Pinterest told us. “Among Kosei’s accomplishments is building a graph that understands more than 400 million relationships between 30 million products.”
Asked about how the acquisition will affect Pinterest’s efforts in search and advertising, Pinterest said, “Over the years we’ve been building a system for helping people discover the most relevant Pins, and the Kosei team is a great complement to our existing technology (see how we’ve been using machine learning here). The acquisition of Kosei will enable us to move faster in our efforts to provide relevant recommendations across the service, as well as in ad targeting and measurement as we roll out Promoted Pins.”
As Pinterest continues to grow its user base, it opens up more marketing opportunities for businesses on both the paid and organic levels. Read this for some insight into optimizing your content for Pinterest's search feature.
Image via Pinterest