Exec Summary: Earlier today, Pinterest announced via a post on its official blog the immediate availability of a series of web analytics tools, allowing brands and marketers to understand how people would interact with their content and which content would generate more engagement.
Pinterest has been a hot topic of discussions in the last 12 months, also partly because no one would have exact figures and data about the service usage, and how the service could contribute to driving traffic to e-commerce sites. Needless to say that getting some official analytics data from Pinterest was probably on top of the wish list for a large number of online marketers, until today.
Enter “Pinterest Web Analytics”
Who is this for? Though the page claims that is a feature “for businesses”, any individual can actually activate the Web Analytics tool on his/her own Pinterest profile, as long as you do own a domain name.
What’s in for me? Pinterest seems to market this tool as some early features with more to come. In fact, as you will read later, there’s not so much in terms of features and metrics. But for sure, it’s a good start and it looks promising. If only we would not have to wait for another 12 months before we see new features made available.
But it’s free, with “no intention to monetize” says Pinterest. Time will tell…
What does this offer?
Let’s make this clear first, before we go into the details of the metrics and numbers that are provided by the tool: it is called Pinterest Web Analytics for a reason!
What you will probably not understand at the first glance, is that this tool will give you figures and numbers about the activity related to content (read: images and photos) that come from YOUR website, this same website that has to be linked to your Pinterest profile and “verified”.
Any other kind of content is NOT measured and tracked by the tool. Let’s assume that you have a fairly famous brand, with several websites and domain names, for different brands or business activities, you will have to choose one domain name, and only one. Period.
Let’s also assume that you have been very creative about your Pinterest usage and have created several boards related to your business domain, and curated or uploaded specific pictures and content, in this case again, none of this content could be tracked and measured by Pinterest Web Analytics tool.
Kind of seriously disappointing, isn’t it?
Last but not least: you HAVE to have a Pinterest profile. OK I know it may sound funny to say at first, but just think for a second about all those businesses and brands who haven’t decided yet if they want to have an explicit presence in Pinterest. Think about some very famous fashion brands.
They’re left alone without a chance to actually “see” what happens about their brand in Pinterest, unless they’re considering third party tools besides Pinterest Web Analytics.
You have read the two previous points above. To me, honestly, it’s simply a showstopper. But wait, there’s more!
Here’s a quick list of features and things that I consider are missing as of today in this analytics tool:
- Pins from your website only. Period. Other content is ignored. As simple as that.
- Nothing about competitors. You cannot compare.
- Nothing specific about mobile usage (there are native apps for iOS and Android, and also a non-official app for Window Phone)
- No socio-demographic data, at all
- No country/location data, at all
- Exposed data and numbers are more like vanity numbers, again (#repins is the new #fans!)
- Just numbers of pins/repins, what about likes? Is a like not considered as engagement too?
- Export data in CSV files limited to the last 100 pins/repins from the “Most” tabs. Seriously, hundred!
But it’s free. No cost. So you can bet that this is rather a good deal and that it’s going to be “good enough” for a large number of users, for the good, and for the bad.
I just hope that people will understand that this tool only provides facts and figures about pins originated from their website, and that it doesn’t provide a holistic view of how the brand does on Pinterest.
So, is this a good or a bad thing?
It’s probably a good thing for Pinterest itself, in the first place. They haven’t announced or showed anything close to monetization features so far.
And if they wanted to do, they would also need to provide some data to their clients to assess that what they sell (to be confirmed!) is worth its price. This is no doubt a first step towards future announcements of monetization features for brands and marketers.
What about the third party Pinterest analytics tools?
Here’s my point. It’s good to see that Pinterest gets serious about businesses and begins to share some data, but I mean it’s clearly not enough yet. The good news is that those third party companies like Curalate or Pinfluencer (**) who have invested energy, time and ressources building great tools and well thought features still have a bright future, at least in the short to mid-term.
Let’s get it straight: to me, as it is today, this Pinterest Web Analytics tool is pretty much useless. Worst, it’s confusing for users.
It’s just weird that Pinterest doesn’t provide an API on top of these data for third party to build upon. And that maybe is not so good news for these third party tools. Remember what twitter did recently to third party apps, related to API access?
Pinterest Web Analytics, as it is today, is nothing to be compared with best of breed tools like Curalate or Pinfluencer (**). But things could change. Let’s see what will be Pinterest’s next move in this domain.
(**) Nota: Since this post was written, Pinfluencer was renamed as Piqora. You can find out more by visiting www.piqora.com.
image credit: burgiemediafusion.files.wordpress.com
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