• Evan Ryan

The Value of Story Pins

Since Pinterest announced Story Pins, they have gained more and more traction. After doing a deep dive, I don't think they compliment the core product, and I've written up my reasoning here.

Before I get into the pins, it's vital to understand what Pinterest really is.

If you don't see them in your Pinterest feed yet, it's because the feature is still in beta!

What is Pinterest

Pinterest is a search engine for inspiration. Their goal is to provide content to me that inspires me to take action and better my life.

They take my interests, they find people with similar interests, and they show me their content. They show them, my content.

All without following anyone.

I often ask clients and prospects “Do you ever get on Pinterest to have an escape for five minutes, and then find yourself still swiping on Pinterest 30 minutes later?” Every single time I’ve asked this question the answer has been “Yes.”

People use Pinterest to find new things and things they think will make their life better. Just like you use Google to find an answer to a question, people use Pinterest to find activities or inspiration that they may think will make their life better. Oftentimes, it does make their life better.

Pinterest is about finding inspiration like Google is about finding information.

Think of Pinterest like a perfectly curated Google images feed. Imagine you open up a Google images app, and Google just knows what you want to see right from the moment that you open it up. That’s Pinterest.

On Facebook and Instagram, the primary purpose is to check in with your friends and people that you want to follow. On Google, it’s to find information. On Pinterest it’s to find inspiration.

What is a story Pin

A story pin is an awful lot like an Instagram story. It’s a pin that will live for a certain amount of time and will appear at the top of your feed.

Stories were just announced this year, and the reaction seems to be… mixed. People don’t quite know how to use them yet.

From the perspective of Pinterest corporate, I think story pins are a really unique ad placement opportunity.

From the perspective of the user, I think story pins are a really unique way to see content in a timely manner.

Ultimately, what I find interesting, is that the introduction of a story pin is a slight veer away from Pinterest as a search engine. It brings Pinterest a bit closer to being a social network.

Pinterest is stated that they are going to place more emphasis on how many followers you have and who follows you. I've gone on record saying I don't believe it will be a game changer for most pinners, and I don't believe that it will change the game for brands.

Now, with story pins, your followers will see your story. Your followers will see this story in a very timely manner. And I think that is valuable.

Here's an interesting twist:

Story pins can be up to 20 pages in length.

There's a real capability to build in lots more content. Want to put a Reel (or TikTok) right next to a photo right next to a 30 second video? You can do that!

Want to show the entire process of making a new dish?

You can do that!

If items-in-sequence is a great fit for you, I think this will be huge for you.

What’s the short-term play?

The short-term play for stories pins is, and my opinion, to win favor with the Pinterest algorithm.

When Instagram launched IGTV, the accounts that immediately put content on to IG TV were favored higher in the algorithm. In my opinion, there still higher in the algorithm.

I think users who routinely upload story pins will find themselves gaining traction on Pinterest and building their community.

So, near term, I think it will enhance what you are already doing.

What’s the long-term play?

Long term, I think there's a real opportunity to win real estate on the Pinterest home screen.

It's like coming up first in an Instagram story list. If you are first, you will get the most views. If someone has to scroll for three minutes in order to find your story, they probably will not view it.

For right now, I think it's a land grab to win favor in the Pinterest algorithm.

So, will you do Pinterest stories?

We will do some to experiment, but truthfully, I don't love it.

I think putting a 20-page story pin on Pinterest may make it more difficult to get website traffic. After all, what's the point of publishing a recipe blog post to your site if the Pinterest user might never reach your site?

That said, I think there's a huge play to increase your brand equity within your community. I think there's an even bigger play to provide valuable content in an engaging way to your community.

That said, I've been wrong before, and I will be wrong again.


If you're interested in learning more about Yavay Surge and how we drive brand growth on Pinterest, head to

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