Digital Dash: Pinterest’s new profile pages & more

1. Pinterest unveils new-look profile pages
2. Facebook can predict your next move
3. Snapchat’s AR lenses are now shoppable
4. New app Intelistyle takes personal styling to a whole new level of personal
5. LinkedIn turns to locations, will soon tell you who’s nearby

1. Pinterest unveils new-look profile pages, complete with a surprise addition we’re over the moon about

In many ways, Pinterest is a free spirit of a platform.

In comparison to the other major players, which gradually seem to be becoming imitations of each other, Pinterest – which refuses to even be labelled a social network – generally plays by its own rules.

This is probably the main reason it offers unique appeal and value to marketers – something many are only just starting to fully realise.

In an update to business profile pages announced this week, Pinterest proved its maverick mentality.

The first big change is the introduction of cover images. Now obviously these are nothing new – in fact, Pinterest is pretty much last to the party.

But, true to form, the Pinterest cover images come with a twist: they are dynamic and show a selection of Pins, as defined by users. You can choose to either show your latest Pins, Pins from a specific board or your most recent Pinterest activity.

Pinterest_new profilePhoto: Pinterest

Whichever option you go for, Pinterest promises to always make sure the visuals used are the ‘latest and greatest’.

We’re always happy when a new opportunity to showcase imagery comes along, so the cover image news is great.

But it was another section of the update that really got our attention.

What we’re most excited about is the addition of a new (and actually useful!) stat to business profile pages: monthly viewers.

This number tells you the total number of people who saw your Pins in the past 30 days. The stat will get pride of place right next to the profile photo, as you can see above.

Why is this so important? Well, it’s one of the first times a platform has brought a metric that’s not purely a way of measuring popularity, but more an indication of actual impact and influence, into the limelight.

Hallelujah! Hopefully the other platforms will quickly realise that this is the way forward.


2. Facebook can predict your next move, but will they let advertisers take advantage?

Out of all the times this particular rumoured Facebook feature could become a topic of discussion, this has to be the worst.

While Facebook is still public enemy no. 1 thanks to the Cambridge Analytica mess, The Intercept has reported that the company is working on a new ad targeting option that would essentially mean brands could target users based on their future actions.

‘Future actions!?’ I hear you cry. ‘But how would they know that?’.

The undeniable truth is, Facebook knows A LOT about you. And even in isolation, that’s pretty powerful. But it’s what happens when it combines that data with data from billions of other users that it becomes truly powerful.

By analysing millions of data points, Facebook is able to draw patterns and conclusions about not only who we are and how we behave, but also what we’re likely to do in future.

And apparently, this could be used to provide advertisers with a new targeting option that would let you reach and influence users in that crucial phase before a decision has been made.

An example from Sam Biddle in The Intercept is this: ‘For example, Facebook explains how it can comb through its entire user base of over 2 billion individuals and produce millions of people who are “at risk” of jumping ship from one brand to a competitor. These individuals could then be targeted aggressively with advertising that could pre-empt and change their decision entirely.’

This may sound alarming at a time when Facebook is being accused of indirectly facilitating the political manipulation of users. But from a marketing point of view, I think this comes down to ensuring that user data is being used not abused.

Having an insight into your customer’s future behaviour could be really beneficial to both brands and consumers. Equally, it could be a disaster if the information fell into the wrong hands.

It will be interesting to see how this develops.


3. Advertisers listen up: Snapchat’s AR lenses are now shoppable

Snapchat’s Sponsored Lenses – which let advertisers create branded filters complete with product placements – were released back in 2015 and have proved popular ever since. According to Snap, 70 million users engage with Lenses each day.

There’s a real difference between showing someone a product or logo, and blending it into their real world. As silly as the words ‘more profound connection’ might sound in relation to Snapchat – this is genuinely something that goes hand in hand with augmented reality.

And now, advertisers can capitalise on that connection in the exact moment it’s made.

This week, Snapchat is officially rolling out Shoppable AR. The new feature will let you include a call to action with branded filters, meaning users can shop a product, install an app or watch a long form video – all from directly within the app.

Snapchat_shoppable AR

Photo: Tech Crunch

And the best thing? The new feature comes at no additional cost.

Before you get too excited, I should just add that the feature is only rolling out to four media partners to start with.

Hopefully, it will be open to all very soon because, especially with this week’s updates to Lens Studio, it’s a feature I’m sure many will be keen to use.


4. New app Intelistyle takes personal styling to a whole new level of personal

If you’ve ever seen the film Clueless, you’ve probably secretly resented your closet ever since simply because it doesn’t deliver personalised outfit suggestions on the daily.

But new app Intelistyle might be about to bring us all a step closer to making that a reality.

Unfortunately, the company doesn’t sell smart closets. But what it does do is use AI to analyse the clothes you actually own to give specific and personalised style recommendations.

As reported by econsultancy, its AI system is able to do this thanks to being trained by analysing millions of fashion photography images and using 512 style parameters.

If you have any involvement in marketing at all, you might have already guessed what’s coming next.

The app goes further than offering style suggestions based on what you already own – it’s also a retail aggregator and will browse tons of online clothes stores to help you put together the perfect outfit.

This essentially means the entire ecommerce experience is tailored to the users’ style, body type, skin tone etc. plus the latest fashion trends.

If this takes off, it could turn out to be seriously valuable to retailers. When a product is suggested by a trusted source (especially on a personalised basis), the chance of it being purchased is so much higher than a regular search.

But the benefits for retailers don’t stop there.

Intelistyle can be integrated into fashion ecommerce websites, meaning web content and search results can cater to each individual visitor. This could then also extend into email and ad retargeting, which could hone in on the specific needs of the customer.

Potentially really powerful stuff.


5. LinkedIn turns to locations, will soon tell you who’s nearby

If you’re a fan of networking, you’ll love LinkedIn’s latest in-testing feature.

The upcoming ‘Find Nearby’ tool plays professional cupid at conferences and industry events, connecting you to others at the same location.

Find Nearby uses Bluetooth to ‘scan’ the people around you so you can add them to your contacts, send them a message or perhaps stalk their profile before an IRL chat.

LinkedIn_Find Nearby

Photo: Greg Desreumaux via WeRSM 

At the time of writing, it’s not 100% clear how far the ‘scanning’ will extend. But I’ve heard reports of between 10-50 metres. So we’re talking about people who are pretty close by. Given that the feature is mainly designed to help people connect at events though, that shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

Don’t want to be found? That’s cool. To be included in the Find Nearby list, you have to opt-in and agree to your approximate location being shared.

You can also control how long you’re visible before. It seems you’ll be able to choose between one day, three days or daily from 9-5pm.