Today is here.
On Tuesday, Pinterest introduced its new Today tab, a central hub on the website for information, curated topics and trending posts. For the time being, it will be chock full of information from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—like tips for proper handwashing technique and learning how to manage work and life at home.
Pinterest said the Today tab will be curated by an editorial team, and occasional guest editors, with the help of “experts across various industries to serve up new ideas each day.” In the future, it might feature publishers and influencers there too, but has no plans to roll out advertising on the page.
Originally, Pinterest wasn’t set to release the new feature, but after the company saw record traffic due to the coronavirus pandemic, it decided to expedite the rollout.
“This past weekend, we saw an all-time high in activity, with more searches and saves of Pins on the platform than any other weekend, ever,” said a company spokesperson. “In response, we fast-tracked the launch of the Today tab, a new source of daily inspiration with curated topics and trending Pins.”
With millions of Americans adhering to social distancing policies and work-from-home mandates in the last two weeks, Pinterest saw a 155% increase in searches for freezer meals, a 32x increase in searches for homeschool schedules and a 13x increase in searches for indoor activities for kids as compared to the two weeks prior. In the same time period, searches for kids’ science experiments and self-care checklists quadruped, searches for working from home and board games tripled, and searches for at home workouts have more than doubled. Pinterest did not provide exact numbers for this data.
“Globally, we saw the highest rates of user engagement in the history of the platform in countries like Italy, France, Spain and Germany,” a spokesperson said. “For example, in France, Saves are up almost 30% vs. last month. In the U.S., we also saw more people than ever sending Pins to one another and idea sharing, with messages sent through our Send a Pin feature up 34%.” Around the world, searches for children’s activities were up 4,055% and searches for work-from-home tips were up 1,411%, Pinterest said.
As traffic rises, it becomes harder and harder to police misinformation on the platforms—an issue that has been prevalent throughout the coronavirus outbreak. While Pinterest has consistently removed health misinformation—particularly around anti-vaccine content—it also allows users to report questionable material they come across for review. Meanwhile, the Today tab addresses the other side of the coin and promotes reliable information from trusted sources.
The company is also focused on what it calls compassionate search, where users who search for terms like “stressed out” will see “emotional wellbeing activities to help relax and feel better with content from emotional health experts,” a spokesperson said. The feature, which has previously been exclusive to Pinterest’s mobile app will now appear on desktop.
Pinterest doesn’t see itself as the go-to place for news or politics—in fact, it banned political ads entirely. But it sees itself as a place for comfort, community and fresh ideas. And in uncertain times when millions are trying to establish a new normal at home, Pinterest wants to be a healthy place for people on the internet.
“Many of us are living in circumstances we never expected to be in—we’re finding new ways to work, we’re homeschooling our kids, we’re not eating out as much as we previously may have,” a Pinterest spokesperson said. “Pinterest uniquely brings the inspiration and support to find those solutions.”