Pinterest released a new set of tools for users that would help them “explore” and share the things around them. At an event with 150 “Pinners” (and an untold number of journalists) at Pinterest HQ in San Francisco, CEO Ben Silbermann announced that the company would introduce new ways to plan trips.
“We’re excited to inspire you to go out and do things,” Silbermann told the audience. The new product, called “Place Pins,” is designed to help users provide a visual guide to finding places to go and things to explore.
Pinterest users, or “pinners” can beginning planning trips by creating a new board based on location, and then adding pins with locations to those boards. The tool adds a map, images, and relevant information to the pins, and allows pinners to view the places they’d like to visit both online and on mobile.
While being able to share online could help users find inspiration and plan trips together, the real killer app is on mobile, where Pinterest users will be able to keep track of places even while they’re on the go. (And hey, how important is it that you can access those places while traveling?)
The new Pinterest Place Pins depend on Foursquare’s location API, along with Mapbox’s map technology. But even if a location isn’t on the map doesn’t mean that pinners can’t add them – they can also add locations of their own. And Pinterest users can also use their mobile apps to get directions, based on location information they have collected.
The announcement comes not long after Pinterest raised a huge new funding round, bringing in $225 million from Fidelity Investments, as well as existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, FirstMark Capital, Bessemer Venture Partners and Valiant Capital Management. To justify that investment, which valued the company at $3.8 billion, Pinterest has begun looking for ways to make money off the massive number of user-curated pieces of content that have been collected from around the web.
One of the ways Pinterest is accomplishing that is with Promoted Pins, which are paid placements from various brands and advertisements that show up within Pinterest category and search fields. There are a number of other features the company has recently rolled out, such as a now-trending tool, personalized pin recommendations, price alerts, and more tools for businesses that are designed to increase the reach of companies trying to connect with potential customers.
While Pinterest didn’t mention monetization plans at the event, it seems like a no-brainer that connect its users to local businesses in places all around the world. Because if it knows they want to go to the place, offering up discounts or providing some other incentive to get them there seems like an obvious next step.