It was bound to happen, and now it has. Pinterest launched its web analytics tool last week, which, similar to Facebook Insights, shows users (pinners?) how much traffic is coming to their websites from the social network.
And Pinterest refers a LOT of traffic—more than Twitter, Google, or StumbleUpon. So businesses are leveraging the social bookmarking site as a marketing and sales tool—a sort of virtual storefront.
With the launch of analytics, companies can see precisely how well it's working. From the Pinterest blog:
If you have a verified website, you’ll get information about how many people have pinned from your site, how many people have seen these pins, and how many people visited your site from Pinterest. We’ll also show you a selection of your most repinned, most clicked, and most recent pins so you have a better idea of what’s popular.
This takes the form of four reports:
- Number of Pins from your site over time and unique pinners
- Number of Repins from your site over time and unique repinners
- Number of Impressions of those pins over time and related reach
- Number of Clicks on those pins over time and related unique visitors
Pinterest's potential value for businesses—and now the metrics to back it up—is a crucial step on the road to monetizing the site through online ads. Right now Pinterest is valued at $2.5 billion and raised $200 million in VC money just last month, but has yet to generate revenue.
Like Facebook, the social network encourages businesses to set up company profiles in addition to individual accounts, and you can also submit your business to be featured on Pinterest's small business board. If you're not on Pinterest, it could be a good time to consider jumping on the bandwagon.