Pinterest Introduces Place Pins
As I was devouring a bowl of cereal this morning, I overheard someone on the Today Show on NBC talking about an exciting new announcement from Pinterest that they cited as being of great interest to the travel industry. Seeing as we partner with a number of the largest and highest rated entities in that particular industry, my ears inevitably perked up. Selective listening at its best.
The discussion was about Pinterest’s latest breakthrough feature, Place Pins. Not being one to sit idly by and believe the hype, I decided to visit the blossoming social network and check out the new Place Pins feature for myself. Turns out, it’s really cool.
Pinterest’s latest update allows page owners to create travel-related boards that do more than just show pretty places and offer links to websites. When you open the board, a map pops up with an assortment of numbered pins like you might see on Google Maps. I know, Google Maps are alphabetized, so no need to call me out. You get the point.
Each number is associated with one of the pins that are situated on the left side of the board. Just scroll down through the pins and find one that interests you. All the while, the map stays stationary.
Each pin has a number on it that relates to a corresponding Place Pin on the map. Click on one that you like and a box pops up with an address and phone number. You don’t even need visit the website anymore. Just pick up the phone and contact the business.
Place Pins for travel sites and hotels
Travel websites and hotels are already eating up this feature. Track down America’s Best Hot Chocolate, courtesy of Fodors. Or check out the top 100 hotels in the world, according to Condé Nast Traveler. Whatever it is you are seeking, travel sites are jumping at the chance to use this new feature to introduce new places to you, encourage you to visit, and give you the contact info to reach out and book a stay.
While Place Pins aren’t a remarkably new concept, they do add a good deal of value to a hotel’s Pinterest boards. For example, a hotel in Chicago could set up a board that highlights the best restaurants and activities in the area. When guests book a room, the confirmation email for their reservation could include a link to a Pinterest board that shows area activities, restaurants and more. What a great way to add value to your guests’ stay before they even hop on the plane to head your way.
Not just travel
The travel industry isn’t the only industry that sees value in Place Pins. Universities are picking up on it as well. The University of Michigan has adopted them into their social media marketing efforts. Check out how the Wolverines are using the new feature to showcase focal points of the Ann Arbor campus.
A prospective student, or a new enrollee, can have their campus visit mapped out before they even take one step onto the grounds. Clicking on a Place Pin directs the student to UM’s FourSquare page where they can check in and find out if any of their friends have been there, learn some tips about the school and surrounding area, and more.
What it’s missing
One thing I’d like to see here, that I didn’t notice, is the ability to click on the address in the box that pops up and have a direction service pop up. Maybe that’s a collaborative concept for the near future. Perhaps Yahoo or Google Maps are on the horizon for this new feature.
That said, Pinterest notes that it has plans for the future that will make the site more actionable for users and create a more interactive experience. Pinterest has always been secretive about its activities regarding all aspects of the company, but that just makes it more fun when the news is finally released. Place Pins seem to be the first of many new additions to the site, so stay tuned.
Have you used Place Pins? Tell us what you like or don’t like about them.
Anthony Gaenzle – Director of Marketing