Stick a Pin in It!

Anna Otieno, Head of Research, Strategy & Insights

Carli Gernot, Content Development Specialist

What’s Up

Pinterest has launched a new feature which lets creators download and share content across social channels.

The new functionality, called Pin Sharing, works with Idea Pins, the platform’s video-first pin format, which was debuted in May 2021. Idea Pins helps Pinterest embrace video and compete more directly with TikTok and other short-form video platforms. The format lets users create video experiences, which are like a combination of IG Stories and video— Idea Pins can include up to 20 pages of content, made up of static images or video, text and graphics may be added and viewers can scroll through this content in a TikTok-esque vertical feed.

When using Pin Sharing, content will be downloaded and saved as a watermarked video that knits all the Idea Pin pages together, ending with a card showing the creator’s name and Pinterest username. After downloading, Pinterest sends the user to Facebook or Instagram and allows the watermarked Idea Pin video to be further edited. The download option lets users share to platforms like Snapchat and TikTok, but the Facebook and Instagram integration is built-in. We know you’re getting excited about what this means for marketers. We’ll keep going ...

Creators can use Idea Pins on Pinterest to make shoppable content via affiliate links; they can partner on paid brand partnerships, and they are able to participate in Pinterest challenges to earn money through the platform’s $20 million Creator Rewards program. Sharing Idea Pins across other social media channels will boost opportunities for creators to gain views and potential income. It lets Pinterest market itself on other channels, as well.

At least one other channel is responding: Instagram came out and stated that this watermarked content will be downranked in its Reels tab. Ding, ding, everyone ... the dukes are up!

What It Means

Video content is taking over social media channels. YouTube maintains its grip on audiences— including its Shorts app— TikTok introduced ten-minute videos, and now Pinterest users can share content outside of Pinterest. This will clearly appeal to the significant chunk of consumers who, let’s be frank, watch tons of social media video content.

According to GWI’s Social Media in the US report, video content is popular with social media users across demographics:

  • 84% of Gen Z/Millennials, 77% of Gen X and 70% of Boomers are watching short video content (under 4 mins);
  • 74% of Gen Z/Millennials, 72% of Gen X and 57% of Boomers are watching medium-length video content (8-20 mins);
  • 72% of Gen Z/Millennials, 56% of Gen X and 41% of Boomers are watching longer video content (20 mins or more).

The same report shows Pinterest holds the highest paid social engagement: 18% of Pinterest users have clicked on a promoted or sponsored Pinterest post in the last month— higher than any other platform.

This watermarked video content will certainly help Pinterest creators grow their audiences— and potentially grow their potential to earn. But Pinterest and brands on Pinterest also stand to benefit from the marketing built into the format. Competition between platforms in unavoidable and algorithms will be working to rank content according to where it comes from in terms of platform of origin. Will we see another layer added to the algorithm biases already at work in our imperfect social media world?

Social media platforms are advancing functionality for creators who want to share beyond the app— TikTok’s SoundOn has debuted the ability for creators to share music across channels and reap all the financial benefit. Pinterest’s move toward sharing beyond its platform’s borders is an indication that this type of sharing will become the default. Brands that use Pinterest to reach audiences need to ensure content translates to other platforms, both in terms of the specs of the video, for example, but also tone and attitude.

Marketers will need to focus on more integrated messaging that can more fluidly speak to TikTok audiences, Pinterest devotees, Stories fans, Reel watchers, and those who prefer Shorts. The challenge may lie in incorporating different elements that appeal to audiences of different social media platforms while maintaining brand identity.