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Pinterest Introduces Smart Board Picker
By: Jennifer Graber
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Pinterest is already pretty great. It is a treasure trove where you can discover a plethora of goodness. You can uncover arts, crafts, DIY, clothes, recipes, fitness and travel tips, inspiration, and much more. I am pretty sure I cannot oversell Pinterest. If you do not have the app now, well, you should get on that. But be prepared to get lost in a black hole where time has no bounds.

As if it were even possible, Pinterest has just gotten better. Drum roll please…the smart board picker has been introduced.
In the olden days, when you selected an item to re-pin, you had to scroll and scroll and scroll. This was especially true if you had a number of boards in which you were curating pins. This particular Pinterest problem was even more prevalent on the app version.

But before you even spent what felt like forever scrolling, you were tasked with selecting the proper board for your pin. Improper categorization is a terror to the hyper-organized, and those with thousands of pins. If a pin could theoretically go on multiple boards, you had to do the back-and-forth argument with yourself.

This first-world problem is no longer as Pinterest has rolled out a fantastic new feature.

Dramatics aside, Pinterest truly has upped its game with its latest addition. The smart board picker was developed by a former Pinterest intern at a hack-a-thon. The intern disclosed that Pinterest is very concerned with the “pinning flow” as it relates to “ease-of-use” and “fast load times.” In fact, Pinterest spends a great deal of time developing this area for optimum use. The intern, an admitted Pinterest devotee, felt the personal plight of loading issues and display (especially on the app version). He knew he was not alone based on data.

The intern’s personal connection to the problem led him to begin work on the smart board picker. The smart board picker is a feature of Pinterest that provides “suggested boards based on the match of the content of the Pin and a Pinner’s boards.” It essentially takes the guesswork out of finding the right board, and reduces re-pinning time.

Pinterest’s new feature runs off of its “rich collection of metadata.” The metadata gives Pinterest information regarding a pin or board’s category and keywords. When a user goes to re-pin an item, Pinterest uses the metadata to run a scoring algorithm. The algorithm uses a “linear combination” of category match, keyword match, and activeness of the board. Based on these factors, a suggested board is displayed, along with recently used boards.  

Pinterest admits it did not get it right at first. Its first version of the feature caused an increase in board selection errors because of a lack of separate areas. Pinterest fixed this by creating a delineated space for the suggested and recent boards and made a new feature even better.

The new feature from Pinterest assists with organization and pinning flow. It creates a better overall user experience. I will admit that at first the feature annoyed me — who did they think they were? They don’t know me and what board I want. It turns out Pinterest does know what it is doing. This is quite possibly one of my favorite new app features in a long time. Props to an app that gets it right.

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About the Author
Jennifer Graber is a Business Development Manager and marketing enthusiast. Her specific interests include branding, consumer behavior, development, integrated marketing communications, and new & social media.
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