Pinterest released several updates to its boards Wednesday, calling them “a personal assistant, travel and party planner, all wrapped up in one.”
The new features began rolling out globally Wednesday on the web, iOS and Android.
Pinterest said in a blog post, “It all starts with a board. People come to Pinterest to look ahead. They find inspiration and ideas on Pinterest and save those ideas to boards, whether it’s for a dinner recipe, weekend activity or planning for a birthday party or wedding. While planning might look different these days as we adjust to the new normal of quarantine, people are getting back to future optimism. Recently, they’ve returned to searches about travel, event planning, summer, weddings and more.”
The platform saw a 60% increase in total boards created globally in April compared with the same month last year, while engagement with boards was up almost 75% year-over-year and nearly 50% compared with March.
Pinterest also saw a 50% jump in the creation of boards focused on virtual activities in April from March, and it said it wanted to ease the process of organizing those boards, adding in its blog post, “We’re introducing the ability to add notes within boards to list out ingredients or tasks for a project, as well as adding dates to boards to keep tabs on projects and receive timely recommendations, new automatic grouping of Pins into sections to organize ideas into themes, and new suggested board section templates.”
The new board notes feature enables Pinners to add details to their boards such as necessary ingredients for a recipe or a to-do list, and Pins can be added as notes.
Adding dates to boards enables Pinners to track the timelines for their projects and to archive the boards when the projects are completed.
Pinterest also added automatic grouping of Pins on boards into sections, saying that its technology will make suggestions on those sections, and adding as an example, “Maybe you have an unruly number of do-one-day-kids activities on a board, but you’ll be much more likely to try them if organized into sections like ‘art projects’ and ‘outdoor games.’”
And the platform’s new section templates feature provides a guided experience from the first Pin of a project through completion, with Pinterest saying, “If you’re planning a birthday celebration, we’ll give you suggested sections and ideas for invitations, décor, food and drink, and activities.”
Finally, Pinterest shared details on some of the technology behind the new features.
The platform using what it calls its corpus of data—the billions of ideas saved and labeled by millions of users—and machine learning to help determine how Pins should be grouped with relevant themes.
Pinterest said the challenge is in accurately clustering similar Pins and predicting how a user may want to organize a board, such as by color, theme or category.
A combination of machine learning and Pinterest’s PinSage technology enabled it to build its Pin-clustering solution to help Pinners determine where and how Pins should be organized, to group similar Pins together and to suggest new board sections with appropriate names.