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Product Release Roundup for Creators [3/17]

80% helpful (12/15)

Product Release Roundup for Creators [3/17]

 

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Hi, PBC! Welcome to our first release note roundup for creators. We’ve heard the feedback you’ve all shared about wanting more transparency from our team around improvements, changes and upcoming fixes to Pinterest products and we’re excited to provide you with this brand new series. Each month, we’ll share an article in our Product FAQ covering recent updates, known issues and more. This is your space to stay informed and up-to-date with everything related to the tools and products you use to build an audience on Pinterest

Please rate the article if it helped you, or leave a comment below if it was helpful or if you need more information around a recent change or update. 🌟

 

Improvements to our Story Pin distribution system 📈

Our team has learned a lot about how Pinners engage with — and get inspired by — Story Pin content since we began experimenting with the format back in 2020.  From our learnings, we have worked hard to evolve our approach for surfacing Story Pins over time.

To that end, we are making improvements this month to how we recommend Story Pins to ensure Pinners see content that they may find most engaging and useful, all with a focus on their interests.  More specifically, our systems will now respond to how Pinners engage with and take action on Story Pin content, and distribute accordingly.  As a result of this change, you may see differences in impressions on future Story Pins you create.

To get the most out of our distribution systems, we recommend creating Story Pin content that Pinners find enticing, and which will inspire them to take action.  Some tips to help you maximize your reach: 

  • Make your Story Pins compelling so Pinners are inclined to watch your content and not just scroll past it; the cover should pull them in, and be relevant to the rest of the pages so they want to take a closer look and learn more. 
  • Make your content engaging - the more people save and view your Pins, the better!
  • Use video early and often. We hear from Pinners that this is a preferred way for them to experience and see your ideas in action.
  • Focus on building an audience on Pinterest. Adding links in text, or directly importing watermarked videos from other platforms might hinder distribution.
  • Pinterest is all about taking inspiration to action; your Story Pin should be both interesting to watch and actionable.  

These tips, and more, can be found in our creative best practices or in this article on Story Pins from the community.

 

Mentions meet the Engagement Tab 👍

The engagement tab (available on web) is meant to be a one-stop shop for you to see and respond to different types of engagement you receive on Pinterest. Now (drumroll, please) people tagging AKA @mentions on Story Pins is available in the engagement tab, too! If someone tags you directly in their Story Pin, the mention will show up as an engagement in this tab. 

Mentions can also be removed from the ‘...’ while viewing the tag from the Engagement Tab. 

For more information about the Engagement Tab, please visit this article from our Help Center. 

 

What’s new with Story Pins 🆕

When creating a story pin on iOS or desktop, you can save multiple drafts of your work in progress. Recently, based on feedback from creators like you, we’ve increased the storage limit on these drafts on IOS to 3g, up from 1g  You will now see a banner that indicates creation is disabled when you reach 1g of storage left on their device. This is a big improvement to previous storage limits and can lend well in times when you want to plan and store multiple pieces of content ahead of time or if you use very high-quality images and videos.  

For more information about Creating Story Pins, please visit this article from our Help Center.

 

Story Pin access tips

Quick reminder to keep both your Pinterest App, and device operating system updated to ensure the best experience with Story Pins.  Not only does that mean you get to easily see the latest and greatest features, but it also ensures you are able to use the Story Pin feature with no interruptions to your access. 

Story Pin creation also requires camera permissions; if you encounter issues when selecting photos or videos to upload from your media library or opening camera on mobile, double-check that Pinterest has permissions to access your camera in your device settings.  

For more information about Story Pin access, please visit this article from our Help Center.  

 

Comments

Thank you for this information! 

-Tabby

@simplepinmedia of course, Tabby!! 

@PinterestGabby   This is great news Gabby, thanks so much!

@foodiehomechef you bet, Simone! I'm really excited about this new series. 🤗

I guess I am missing the "good news".  How do stories help creators!?  We only make money when people come to our site or click our affiliate links.  Stories have no clicks  -so, stories ONLY help Pinterest by keeping OUR audience on YOUR channel... so all our hard work doesn't help us!

Also, I thought Pinterest was a SEARCH engine... why do y'all try so hard to be a social media channel?

Final thought, I really wish I knew who all these people are that you get feedback from... it is none of the people in ANY of the social channels I frequent... even straight users are irritated by stories. I get message after message and comment after comment of complaints because people can't figure out how to get the craft, template, recipes, printable, etc from my story pins.

Here are my thoughts on two bullets I copied from the article. 

  • "Focus on building an audience on Pinterest. Adding links in text, or directly importing watermarked videos from other platforms might hinder distribution."

Pinners hate that there are no links in the Story pins. I created only one Story and almost immediately was asked how to get to my actual post.  If Stories don't actually serve our audience, what good is it to us to build one? 

  • "Pinterest is all about taking inspiration to action; your Story Pin should be both interesting to watch and actionable."

How can a Story pin be actionable if you don't allow us to add links to our projects?

Pinterest used to be so great as a user.  And there wouldn't even be this platform without all the Creators uploading awesome projects.

We just don't understand why you're working so hard to limit the traffic we get? 

We get it. You make more money when pinners stay on Pinterest, but if you make it impossible for them to get the information they're searching for they'll stop coming back to Pinterest for that inspiration and go back to internet searches.

Unless this lets us link back to our sites so people can see more and get more information that they are searching for, this doesn’t incentivize me to create any more of them. The reach is great but it’s basically there’s no point for a content creator. And I watched some and got frustrated myself when there was no place for me or way to get to the site that posted it to get more information.

I’m sorry but what good news? As a Pinterest user stories are infuriating because there’s nowhere to click for more info. As a creator they’re insulting because you obviously STILL don’t value the fact that your entire platform is built on things we create! If you’re a search engine, be that. If you’re a social media site, be one. Don’t try to be both. And while we’re on the topic of things you’re doing that screw the very people who provide all your content, quit linking to affiliate products on OUR images, making money off our hard work. Pinterest used to be amazing for creators and users alike. Now it’s just not. 

I don't appreciate story pins that link to nothing. The whole point of being on the site is to use it as a search engine to find inspiring ideas, and then to link to them so you can read more! As a blogger with thousands of valuable ideas to share with readers, how does a story pin benefit me? It doesn't. Bottom line, it's all about Pinterest, not the content creators! Sad but true. 

It can't be that hard to allow links on story pins so people can find what they're looking for.  I don't see the point of this "update".  Story pins don't help anyone.  They get buried in boards and people can't find their way to the post with full ideas.  Creators are here to earn an income not just to get "engagement".  I don't find the update useful.  I have to agree with a comment left earlier, if people are unable to find what they want on Pinterest, they'll leave entirely and go to Google. It's not a good user experience.

Thank you for the updates and information - it's great to have this transparency and be able to keep up and make the most of the platform and its changes as they happen!  @PinterestGabby  🙂 

Great info @PinterestGabby! I really appreciate how Pinterest is engaging with its creators to keep us up to date with the latest ways to create successful content 🤓📌

Hi folks, thanks for sharing your feedback and thoughts around this article and specifically, about linking out from Story Pins. Story Pins are designed to help you tell your full story on Pinterest, with multiple pages of video, images and text in a single Pin. This new format was designed to give our creator community everything you need to bring an idea to life entirely on Pinterest. 

One tip you could apply to Story Pins is using a CTA to drive users to our profile to follow your account. Then, they can check out the link in your bio to take engagement with your content one step further. 

Again, thank you all for the feedback. We want these updates to be helpful so you all feel more dialed into the products we’re building for creators. If there are other specific things you’d love to learn more about, we’d be happy to include those in the future.

Great info! 

@pineapplewhitemedia@andrealidesigns and @NickiBarkerVA thanks for the love and feedback, I'm really excited to see these updates continue to evolve over time!! 

@PinterestGabby As a content creator, I appreciate the feedback. It's definitely useful to know why Pinterest is doing what they're doing, so thank you for providing us with a peek behind the curtain.

However, this statement is...unsettling:  "Story Pins are designed to help you tell your full story on Pinterest".

Creators should not be expected to give away their work for nothing in exchange. That Pinterest is asking that of us is really concerning. In their current iteration, that is what story pins ask us to do. Every other platform understands this. Both Google web stories and Instagram stories, which are both quite successful for both ends of the business arrangement, understand that platforms and creators are in a mutually beneficial relationship, and there has to be some kind of balance, some kind of give and take between what the platform needs and what the creators require to continue to create content.

With google web stories, I am just as detailed as I am with pinterest stories, but I can still insert clickable links. Users love it! They can either get a quick fix, or click through for a deeper read. With Instagram, it's similar, but there is another layer of incentive, and that is sponsored content. Neither of these "carrots" exist for creators within Pinterest stories.

Pinterest's take re: story pins is missing the mark. There is a lot of opportunity for Story pins to benefit the creators, the users, and the platform, but in their current state, they only benefit the platform. Users are increasingly frustrated. Creators are definitely frustrated.

I'm a food blogger, and it takes a ton of time and effort to design a detailed story pin that demonstrates the depth and breadth of a recipe post so that a user does not need to reference the actual post to make the recipe. A LOT of time. And not in just designing the story pin itself, but in making sure I capture the proper process shots to illustrate the recipe fully and completely. I'm sorry, but I think you have absolutely no idea what it takes to create the kind of story pin Pinterest is asking for.

I do know, because I've been creating them for months. The result is that my story pins have huge engagement, but the benefit to me is...nothing. I can't even discern a measurable uptick in followers due to story pins - if anything, the pace is about the same as before.

I have several story pins with with views in the millions, but it doesn't translate to clicks. The best performer has 3.12 million views, and I can attribute about less than 3,000 clicks total to the story pin (and that's spread over many many months). Additionally, the comments on that story pin read as follows:
"I
 cant see the recipe for some reason"
"I can’t seem to view the recipe?""
"I can't either"
"Nice picture with no recipe.. hope you’re making good money."
etc. etc. etc. for all of my other story pins. 

Users simple will not go through the hassle of clicking through to a profile page, clicking to the website, going into the search bar on the website, and then searching for the recipe they want to make. They just won't - again, I know this because I tested several calls to action, and I have been met with frustrated users who can't get to the actual recipe post (despite the story pin including everything they need, including ingredients and step by step photos of the process). 

I get it - story pins were created to meet the demands of an instant gratification world, among other reasons. But like I said, their current state is missing the mark. You have frustrated users and frustrated creators. I just checked my tracking sheet and I've created over 200 story pins to date. And my traffic from Pinterest is plummeting, plus I'm bombarded in my engagement tab by irritated users. Sigh. 

I'm an OG Pinterest user (since the very, very beginning - way before I ever even started blogging). I KNOW platforms change, and I'm totally happy to roll with the punches when they're created to better the experience of all parties involved. But the changes in the past year have been incredibly demoralizing, as both a user and a creator. 

I don't think you should ditch story pins, but there is a real need to provide some layer of incentive for creators to continue to make them. Adding a clickable link on the last page would hurt exactly no one - the creator gets what they need, the user gets what they need, and Pinterest benefits from the user extending their session. Plus a story with a clickable link at the end (maybe after requiring a certain number of slides, like 6-8?) would increase session time and engagement on the platform. I dunno - there are so many ways to improve the user experience for everyone. Tweaking HOW we make story pins isn't it. 

@PinterestGabby Thank you for providing some upcoming features on story pins. What I love about story pins is to be able to include multiple images! 

While story pins have great impressions, it's frustrating both as a user and as a creator to know that there's no clickable link.

You've spent YEARS training users to click pins to gain access to the content they're looking for, and now they're left frustrated and confused- why can't they click to get the recipe. I include the link in the "recipe" list and even still have to answer questions where to get the recipe. 

My home feed is flooded with story pins, which I intentionally skip over pinning because I know that how frustrated users are. I really wish you would take that into consideration and listen to the content creators, I am not sure who the ones are that you're asking for feedback from. 

The comments above from @oursaltykitchen  are 100% true.  "Users simple will not go through the hassle of clicking through to a profile page, clicking to the website, going into the search bar on the website, and then searching for the recipe they want to make." 

What you are suggesting, users to follow our account pages and look for the recipes there, there are so many steps to find what they need and they'll give up before they even get halfway there. Especially considering how many users scroll using their phone.

I understand adapting and changing, and I understand your desire to keep users on Pinterest but how can you ask content creators to continue to build content for your platform without continuing to support the needs of the creators? There has to be a mutual benefit and right now, I am not seeing it. 

 

@PinterestGabby   I hadn't chimed in on this before now because I was frankly very upset over this whole situation with Story Pins especially after reading this in your post "Focus on building an audience on Pinterest. Adding links in text, or directly importing watermarked videos from other platforms might hinder distribution."

So basically Pinterest will not only NOT let you link out, but will penalize you if you do!? Wow, really?

I gotta say that I agree totally with everything that was said by @deals_3bd & @GirlJustDIY & @jenrizzo & @homemadelovely & @diybeautify & @hootshack & ESPECIALLY @oursaltykitchen & @beyondfrosting 

My account was marked as spam for no reason over a month ago, as you well know and still has not recovered... which made me really angry. After 6 years of working really hard on my account & always PROMOTING Pinterest... I feel betrayed to say the least. Now this... the story pin situation has made me feel that Pinterest cares nothing about it's creators & is only out for itself.

Wow, I never in a million years thought I'd feel this way, but I do. Tell me I'm wrong Gabby. Can you?

@UnconventionalSouthernBelle  this touches on our frustrations and other discussions about the need for direct links and drop in engagement. @PinterestGabby  I appreciate all Pinterest is doing but agree with many of the commenters that the lack of links is having a detrimental impact on engagement and interaction across all of my Pinterest content. I have seen a huge increase over the past 8 months in my audience and engagement but the results and ROI on the content creation is not there, which is very discouraging as a creator and business owner. 

Yea I think it would be great to have links in story pins too! This way they can direct traffic to your website and are also possible to be monetized. Getting traffic to their own website or other social media is why I think most creators use Pinterest!

Same for video - there it is possible to add links, but they are hidden away on mobile. Which is where 75% of my audience consumes my content.

I ended up putting CTAs in videos directly, but that is really not ideal compared to clickable links.

 

Also it would be good to know which engagements Pinterest values especially - Pin clicks, watch time, follows, likes, saves, comments - what is weighted the most?

@tinycraft, thank you for sharing this thread with me. Honestly, it further confirms what I've been feeling.

@oursaltykitchen captured my biggest frustration perfectly:

"Pinterest's take re: story pins is missing the mark. There is a lot of opportunity for Story pins to benefit the creators, the users, and the platform, but in their current state, they only benefit the platform. Users are increasingly frustrated. Creators are definitely frustrated."

It feels like we're creating and pumping content into the platform with no real ROI.

One of my favorite things about Pinterest has been seeing traffic to my site for content I shared years ago. Story Pins doesn't leave room for that. Frankly, I can't see the value in continuing to spend hours per week creating, editing, and sharing content that really leaves me frustrated.

With basically zero traffic back to my site and business, having millions of views is even more demoralizing. It is not easier for the user or the creators. I cannot justify this as a business owner or creator, especially for free.

Having a business requires you to focus on your business. It is clear that Pinterest is doing that with this feature, it simply doesn't align with my goals, and it's certainly not delivering a partnership worth sustaining over time.

I am beyond grateful to everyone who has taken their time to share their thoughts on this thread; it has been eye-opening and comforting in a weird type of way.

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