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Pinterest Sees Big Potential in Location-Based Place Pins

Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 21, 2013 02:47 PM

Pinterest is pinning its monetization hopes on Place Pins, a new category of pins focused on travel that carries enormous potential in the lucrative business of location-based ads.

Place Pins let users pin images of bars, cafes, restaurants and other destinations onto dedicated Pinterest boards. The intention is to tap into social travel, helping users plan trips. The company says its Pinners generate 1.5 million pins tagged to locations every day, adding up to a total of 750 million across the site, with 75 percent of traffic coming from mobile. 

Users can create map-based pin boards integrated with map apps from Google and Apple, while Foursquare, Airbnb and OpenTable will provide content. The pins will make use of Foursquare’s location API and Mapbox’s map technology.

“Pinterest users like to plan vacations as much as they like to redesign their living rooms and make over their wardrobes, so it isn’t far-fetched to imagine hotels, vacation destinations and travel agents paying to promote themselves on the new pin maps," the Wall Street Journal muses

Brands, including the Travel Chanel, Airbnb, UNESCO and the Four Seasons have already gotten in on the action with place pin boards featuring east coast beach destinations, London heritage sites, hot spots in Paris and Tokyo and top travel stops for foodies

The move is just the latest effort by the social platform to monetize its services. Last year, search-engine marketing firm Wordstream ranked travel as the second-highest category of ad spending on Google, behind finance and ahead of shopping. The Place Pin announcement comes not long after Pinterest’s most recent round of funding brought in $225 million. Now valued at $3.8 billion, place pins put Pinterest squarely against the likes of Yelp, Google and startups like Skedadel. 

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