This article was published on November 21, 2013

Pinterest moves into travel after launching new tools to help users plan trips

Pinterest moves into travel after launching new tools to help users plan trips
Ken Yeung
Story by

Ken Yeung

Ken Yeung is a reporter for The Next Web based in San Francisco, CA. He carries around a big camera & likes to write about tech, startup Ken Yeung is a reporter for The Next Web based in San Francisco, CA. He carries around a big camera & likes to write about tech, startups, parties, and interesting people. Follow him on Twitter, on Facebook, and Google+.

Pinterest has introduced a new way to help its users derive value from pins in a whole new market: travel. Tonight, the company showed off its Place Pins, a new experience to allow users to share amazing places they’re visiting. This new feature is available now for iOS and Android devices.

At an evening event at its San Francisco headquarters, the interest-based social networking company brought together members of the press and approximately 150 Pinners to mark the news. Company CEO Ben Silbermann took the stage to talk about his vision — inspiring you to go out and do things.

He shared some of his company’s efforts to achieve this goal. In May, Pinterest became focused on collecting recipes and showing off ingredients on pins. It was followed up with the focus being on shopping — pins displayed the retailer, price, and whether it was in stock for various products. Then it moved to editorial content.


As it moves into the new year, Pinterest says that it is focusing on the helping people plan trips. It makes sense too — Silbermann says that 1.5 million travel-related pins are added every day with a total of 750 million place pins. Silbermann says that people are sharing specific points of view, places to go, and other things to do.

Jon Parise, Pinterest’s software engineer, spoke about the new market segment. The social network has beautiful boards with new maps that sync pins with an interactive map that helps you get better value from where you are looking to go. Instead of creating a map with specific pins, users can also search for other maps like Bars around the world. Parise demonstrated that you can pick a location and insert recommendations from other pins.

Adding pins was made simple — websites already have location data, including TripAdvisor, Airbnb, OpenTable, Trulia,,, JetSetter, and Virtual Tourist.

The new feature allows you to send maps to various boards as well with a new “Send to Board” tool.

With Pinterest’s new pin menu, users can take any place to their custom map to understand where to go. The company explains that the app also lets you add places wherever you are. It gives you walking directions to favorite places that you’ve been to.

Silbermann says that Mapbox, Foursquare, and Stamen helped in the development of this new tool.

The addition of this travel tool comes as Pinterest is seeing approximately 75 percent of its traffic come from mobile. Of course this move also could be a big push to helping the company build a better revenue model — perhaps allowing businesses to pay for promoted placement or sponsorship deals?

Last week, Skift reported that Pinterest was making moves to launch a travel channel. Obviously we now know this to be true and it could be an area that Pinterest succeeds over the likes of Trippy, Peek, and others are still working on becoming mainstream.

It’s important to note that Place Pins are not part of Pinterest’s Promoted Pins “experiment”. Rather, the company says that it’s a whole new initiative.

Today’s news comes a couple of months after the company announced its advertising play with promoted pins and the introduction of article pins. Pinterest also started to open up its data API to retailers and developers, with brands like Zappos, Disney, Nestle, and Random House utilizing the feed to showcase popular pins.

What else does Pinterest have up its sleeve to better help monetize the social network’s culture of curated content? We’ll have to wait and see, but in the meantime, this is probably a good start.

➤ Pinterest for iOS | Android

Photo credit: KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images

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