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Is Instagram Doing A Snapchat On Pinterest?

Instagram's New IGTV Redesign & ‘Pinteresty’ Features

Social media super-sleuths have recently uncovered some interesting new Instagram features being tested, seemingly ‘borrowing’ from Snapchat (again) for IGTV and Pinterest.

Instagram is in the process of redesigning its user interface (UI) and business profile UI. Within the new interface, Instagrammers can expect not only more prominence for Shopping features but also IGTV.

IGTV is to Instagram what Facebook Stories was to Facebook… a bit of a lemon.

Note the use of past tense though. After a failed initial rollout of Facebook Stories the platform has iterated multiple times and it now has good momentum. IGTV likewise hasn’t set the world alight since launch, but will no doubt come good.

Leaked IGTV tests over the weekend show a new user experience including a redesigned IGTV profile layout.

The redesigned IGTV UI, which some users have currently, looks very similar to Instagram proper. On top of this, the new UI is showing improved search functions for channels, and suggested channels, with a distinct whiff of Snapchat’s Discovery mode.

These are things which IGTV desperately needs to aid uptake and improve stickiness. 

The view on the ground for IGTV from marketers is pretty weak, so even with these new features, it will perhaps take a while for many to take seriously.

Is Pinterest Really Still A Thing?

It is hard to believe that having slunk to the rear of the social media pack around 2010, Pinterest is now starting to have a spot at the marketing table again.

Hence the interest Pinterest’s getting from Instagram, Facebook and Google.

With 250 million monthly active users globally, and circa 5 – 5.5 million monthly active users in Australia and New Zealand, Pinterest is worth exploring for many consumer brands.

If not on the organic side of things, then certainly on the paid front.

Pinterest has a share market listing imminent, at an expected US$12 billion valuation. However, given the rough time Snap’s had since IPOing, its share price is currently one-third of its peak, it’ll be interesting to see the reaction Pinterest garners.

For marketers, and Wall Street alike, here are five Pinterest points to note:

  1. Pinterest users BUY, it has the highest commercial intent of social channels
  2. It has well-developed e-commerce options which users understand
  3. Pinterest was an early mover in visual search and has good artificial intelligence
  4. It is not a social network, but a visual discovery engine
  5. Pinterest referral traffic is up almost 30% YoY

Are The Vultures Already Circling Pinterest?

Pinterest was the first mover in social commerce, outside of failed Facebook and Twitter experiments back in the day.

It successfully launched Buyable Pins in June 2015 and rolled out a dedicated shopping section in November of the same year.

Instagram’s shopping tags and shopping section, launched in 2017 and 2018 respectively, are reminiscent, to say the least.

Techcrunch reported last week a sneak-peak of Pinterest board style features buried away in Instagram’s code. Code embedded in Instagram for Android shows the company has prototyped an option to create public “Collections” to which multiple users can contribute.

The “Make Collection Public” option was discovered by code guru, and reverse engineering specialist Jane Manchun Wong.

Facebook launched its own sharable collections just before Xmas, so the Instagram trials should hardly come as a surprise.

And it's not just the Facebook ecosystem with Pinterest in its crosshairs.

Pinterest’s visual search pitch also it straight in Google’s firing line. Itself working hard on visual search.

The predatory practices of big tech are well known.

Facebook has overtly ‘borrowed’ from Snapchat, at will, since mid-2016, stifling its growth.

Given Pinterest’s pending IPO, advanced e-commerce solutions and smart visual search tools marketers should expect many more Pinteresty style features to appear in due course.

 

 

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