Pinterest takes aim at businesses, offers new monetizing tools

Will the online scrapbook become an important portal for businesses looking to expand their online presence?
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

The popular image platform Pinterest has begun to expand its revenue potential by offering a new set of tools to entice businesses.

As a platform, the concept behind Pinterest is sound -- allowing users to create online 'scrapbooks' of images they find and like across the web. Some users create scrapbooks dedicated to particular topics -- whether it be street art or photography -- and then other members of the Pinterest community can follow these boards, or repin them, a mimicry of Facebook "likes" or Twitter's "retweet" feature. However, the new set of tools, under the name of Pinterest Web Analytics, is part of the startup's growing efforts to monetize a platform currently full to the brim of cupcake pictures, self-portraits and kittens.

Not many businesses appear to have jumped on the latest community-driven network with the same enthusiasm as Google+, Twitter or Facebook. Chief Executive Ben Silbermann told The Wall Street Journal in February that Pinterest is "building foundations to monetize" the service over this year, and as part of the process, the firm has had to begun by offering businesses what they want -- data, pure and simple.

The new analytics tools will allow participants to track any pins they release, and see how the community interacts with any material they are attempting to promote on the website. Announced on Pinterest's official blog today, the free tool set also includes information on how many people visit your boards, what has been most clicked, and what has been repinned.

pinterest new tools monetizing
Credit: Pinterest

In order to take advantage of the new tools, you'll need to verify your website through uploading a .html file to the server. However, Pinterest only supports top level domains at present.

The latest offering is the next step in the startup's attempt to lure businesses to the scrapbook platform, with other tools including "Pin it" buttons, board widgets and business accounts already available. Pinterest does not rely on website advertising to secure additional revenue, and so attracting business clientele as the website expands may become a critical issue.

According to comScore data, the website was the 38th most visited website in January within the United States -- and with such a broad potential customer base, it may be that the scrapbook website eventually becomes a heavyweight contender when businesses further consider the potential of online marketing.

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