Pinterest Reaches Out to Businesses With New Service

Pinterest, the popular picture-sharing service, will offer new accounts tailored for businesses to fuel the expansion of its user base ahead of a decision on how to generate income from the website.

The accounts will make it easier for companies to join and use the social networking site, according Cat Lee, a product manager at Pinterest. The website, where members collect and share photos by pinning them to an online bulletin board, may add more business services in the future, including analytics, she said. Whole Foods Market posts recipes on Pinterest, while Macy’s features new clothes.

Pinterest is stepping up efforts to woo more businesses that add content to the service and help it boost its user base. Founded in 2009, the San Francisco-based company has grown to nearly 40 million users globally, according to ComScore. That still trails Facebook, which has more than 1 billion users.

“This is the first step to helping businesses make the most out of Pinterest,” Lee said in an interview. “We hope to basically give businesses more tools and more resources.”

Pinterest has thousands of accounts that are run by businesses already, she said, declining to give specifics. The new business accounts, which have separate terms of service, also will guide companies on how to drive traffic to their websites using Pinterest, Lee said.

While the company has grown, it hasn’t yet introduced a plan to make money from its growing base of members. Today’s announcement isn’t tied to that, and Pinterest isn’t commenting on when a business model will be rolled out, she said.

“When we do introduce a business model, we’ll definitely plan on designing it to make the user experience better,” she said.

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