pinterest missing link

Image Courtesy: doreenrainey.com

If 2012 is going to go down the history books as the Facebook year then it would also be remembered as the year of Pinterest. Although Pinterest has been around since 2010, it only came into limelight from last year. One of the few reasons being the launch of its iPhone app, Facebook integrating it into it’s open graph, etc. Today Pinterest is the third most visited website in US but then outside of US, it is yet to achieve the same success.

Pinterest, which has been branded as a network for women, had attracted me initially but with time I have lost interest. Not because it was labeled as a women’s site but because of some of it’s shortcomings in usability. I logged in some days ago just to witness the same problems that existed before. Here’s a list of them:

1. Home page: The biggest problem I have is when I land up on my home page. Yes it is appealing for the first few times but later on, it has appeared as a visual junk yard to me. Not that I follow too many people but since people today share more than they consume so an alternative way to display could be thought of. I think a similar situation persisted in Twitter and that’s the reason why we have lists to control them and be able to consume them. Can Pinterest allow me to have lists in the profile page, which can be tailored to my needs?

2. Search: I spend maximum time on social media and when I join any network I look for the “Search” feature to explore more. Once you have joined all your friends, you would love to find more people or boards to explore more. In the case of Pinterest, the search becomes more important since it is a site about pictures and we love to see more and more of them. Definitely Pinterest has a search but then it can make it better, which would allow pinners to connect to others easily. Certainly, some advanced features are required to the basic search Pinterest is providing as of now.

3. Interest based content: From consuming everything, we are moving onto curated information and I think it can be done in Pinterest. Other than following the same set of friends from Facebook and Twittter, can Pinterest show me content from people that is of my interest. For example, since I love glass painting I would love to follow people who have the same interest and share the same kind of content. Pinterest has categories but they are very broad and again neither can they be sorted nor displayed in a way that I would want.  Along with this, Pinterest can add a feature saying “People To Follow” based on interests like it has “Friends To Follow” which would definitely increase the levels of engagement in the site.

4. Popular: The Popular tab is useful to explore more but lacks features like customizations and showing me what is popular in my network. Can the tab have categories so that it can list all popular pins or boards under one category, wouldn’t that be helpful? Besides this, it would be great if Pinterest can populate a small feed which will show me what is popular in my network too. Popular is a great feature but right now it has not been designed to be used to it’s full extent.

5. Social Sharing: Initially, I had a thought that open graph by Facebook has extensively helped developers. It has, no doubt but at the expense of user experience. Social sharing apps are becoming a spam with every passing day. Pinterest has an option to disable social sharing to your networks but why is it that every time it has to populate all my activities and show people on other networks. Wouldn’t it be great if I have the control on what to show and what not to? Time for Pinterest to think on this direction too.

SEE ALSO: How Indian Ecommerce Should Use Pinterest?

7. Analytics: Finally we all love numbers don’t we? Can Pinterest have an added feature, which could give some more insights other than the number of likes and comments. We have third-party apps like Pinerly who do the job but it would be great to have it from Pinterest rather than logging into another site to get the services.

8. Brand Integration: Recently, Simply Zesty had published some interesting case studies on how brands are using Pinterest. All good but how does one know which are the brands that are using it? For example, the other day I was looking for Indian brands that  are using Pinterest. The only way possible was via search and the results were not helpful. Wonder if Pinterest plans to integrate brands and show them in different categories. So that users can quickly search about them and follow them.

I am sure most of the points that I have mentioned here would have been discussed or may be on the to-do list of the Pinterest team. However I hope that Pinterest doesn’t adopt the route of Google Plus or Twitter in releasing required features. Otherwise, it will affect the user’s experience, which could turn away users from the network.

Do you face any other problem apart from what I have mentioned or do you consider that the network is perfect right now. 

Prasant Naidu

Founder and Editor at Lighthouse Insights.

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