So Many Changes
Oh Pinterest, my Pinterest … What happened?
It seems like every month there’s something new on Pinterest. Something changed, something moved and something has disappeared. And some days, it takes me more than just a quick 5 minute scan to figure out where the button is to do something that I clicked on every day.
What the huh Pinterest?
If you log into Pinterest as much as I do, I’m sure you’ve seen the changes too. It started slowly with the lifetime number on the repins. Then came our profiles – all that extra white space at the top. Our profile information got bigger and our boards got smaller.
Right after our big white profiles, Pinterest picked up speed and there seemed to be a new change every week. It was hard to keep up and adjust to all these new features.
I worried that it was going to affect my pinning strategy.
The Pinterest dust has settled
Once the dust had settled and it looked the major changes were all in place, I did a full assessment of the new Pinterest layout. I took a good look at where we are now with this visual site and reworked some of my steps to make sure that my Pinterest marketing strategy would still work.
There were more changes to the desktop version of Pinterest than to mobile but since I wanted to make sure that I was reaching people on either desktop or digital, I focused on the following feature changes:
- New Pinterest image size for desktop
- Pin descriptions on desktop
- Board covers on desktop
- How we see each others account on mobile
Let’s walk through these changes and I’ll share with you how you can change your pinning strategy to work with the new features.
1. New Pinterest Image Size
With the new Pinterest desktop layout, the size of our images have been scaled down.
The width of the pins went from 735px to the reduced width size of 239 px. And now our pins have rounded corners and there’s a whole bunch of white space in between them.
The smaller size means that you’ll need to spend time to rework your pins to make sure that they pop more in the Pinterest feed. It’s even more important now to look at the font that you’re using, the colors that are in your pin and to ensure that we can read the text on your image.
- Use a clean brightly lit background for your image – if your image is a little dark, you can use a program like Picmonkey to adjust the exposure and up the brightness level to make it pop and easier to see.
- Add text to your image – use a text overlay to give us the blog post name or description about the content of your pin. Don’t just show us your stuff, tell us why we want to click on it.
- Use a clean font and brighter colors – make sure that the text on your image is easy to read, especially from mobile. Using brighter colors like pinks, yellow and reds will draw more attention than using something dark like black or grey.
2. What Happened to the Pin Descriptions?
The new Pinterest desktop changes cut the amount of text down to the first sentence on the page where the image is located. We’re no longer able to see those descriptive sentences you worked so hard to pull together.
And when you click on the pin, you see some of your copy, but not all it!
The pin description change happened sometime in August. Any of the pins that you uploaded to the site before August still have your full detailed pin description included on them when you click on the pin.
Even though we can’t see the partial description until we click it, don’t neglect this section. I still believe that pin descriptions are an important part to have your content come up in the search function of Pinterest.
Here’s some tips to help your pins get found by Pinners searching for your content:
- Make sure you continue to add in the details about what the content of the pin is about. The pin description is still connected to the pin and it can only help to have more searchable information included in the pin.
- Add keywords that people are actively searching for in the description – and yes, it’s OK and more than preferable that your keywords be included in sentences and not just words with hastags.
- And regarding hashtags – that’s a big NO. Don’t use them in the sentences or even at the end of your descriptions.
And something else that I want to add to this conversation — since your pins have been scaled down, it’s even more important to sign up for Rich Pins.
Rich pins are free to link to your site and since they add more details to your pins, it gives your content an extra push to be added into Pinterest’s searchable content. Plus the feature puts your blog post or landing page title in bold, giving your pin more information than just the first sentence of your page.
If you haven’t signed up for Rich Pins yet, I would highly recommend that you go here to this link and follow these steps.
UPDATE ON THIS: It appears that this change may be moving back to the full view of your pin descriptions for any pins that are added to the site after Oct 2016. Stay tuned for more updates on this!
3. Desktop Board Covers
When the great big white profile change happened, the layout shifted the size of the board covers on our account page. It’s like the space we gained for our profiles had to come from somewhere so they grabbed it from the size of our board covers.
The new board cover size is 217 x 147 pixels.
For those of you who like having their board covers branded to look like your images or your website, you can still do that to create a consistent look for your Pinterest account. Just keep in mind that the bottom part of your image will be cut off so just plan on the top 217 x 147 pixel as the only space that will be seen.
While we’re talking about board covers, I want to point out that mobile users don’t see your board covers, not even the smaller size. The mobile version of Pinterest only shows the last 5 – 6 pins that you’ve added to the board and looks like this:
The latest stat shows that 80% of Pinterest users are on mobile rather than desktop. So if you’ve been debating about whether you want to spend the time to create board covers, just keep in mind that you’ll have to do some creative work to get your text copy to show up on the top and the folks on mobile won’t even see them.
4. Mobile Pinning Strategy
There’s a whole bunch of differences between what we see on the desktop Pinterest version and what comes up on our phones. But the big one that I want to share with you that directly affects your mobile strategy is the way Pinners view our account.
I know that you spent some time setting up your boards and put the ones with your top content on the first row. This is what the experts have always told us what to do, right?
Set up a board to showcase your blog posts, create a board to share your latest promotional content – all that stuff that we want people to see so they can learn about who we are and what we do.
Guess what happens on mobile? We no longer see the order of the boards that you set up in the top row as the first boards in your mobile account.
What we see on mobile is the last board that you pinned to. It looks something like this:
So if you’re pinning to plan out your son’s birthday party or looking for quick recipes to make for dinner that week, the boards that you pinned your party tips and recipes just moved up to the top of your boards list.
And this could be awesome if you’re a party planner or a food blogger and you pinned these images to your top boards.
But is that what you do or was that just something you were pinning for personally?
My guess it was the later – you were just spending a little time enjoying Pinterest for the pure sake of pinning. And there’s nothing wrong with that! In fact, I always tell my clients to pin for fun and use Pinterest for themselves personally as it helps your overall ranking with Pinterest.
But if you want me to see your top boards – the ones that you moved to the first row on the desktop, the ones where you have all your blog posts and promotional content then you need to make sure that one of the last pins that you save goes to one of your top boards.
Even if it’s just new content that’s not yours, make sure that you pin one of your last 3 pins to one of your top boards so that your most important boards will be at the top when I click on your profile to check you out.
Want an online demo of the changes?
If you want to learn more about these new Pinterest changes and how I’m personally changing my pinning strategy, check out the Pinterest Strategy video below.
I go into more detail about what changed – I even included a few more like what’s up with the Group Boards? – and the simple steps I’m doing to adjust my Pinterest marketing strategy.