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How Pinterest is Promoting Algorithmic Fairness With New Home Feed Tools

Marketing

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The new updates allow Pinners to weigh in on the content they see and offer feedback at the Pin-level.

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As an industry, we can all recognize the role conflict plays in driving engagement. We have an opportunity, however, to push a different agenda where our content is grounded by a deeper connection with our audience through understanding and shared experiences. This can be equally if not a more important driver of business and long-term success.

As an example of a platform leading in this space, Pinterest recently unveiled two custom feed tools offering users a more streamlined approach to brainstorming and a better understanding of what is being curated for them. Let’s break down what these are and how to use them:

The “Home Feed Tuner”

To give Pinners more detailed insight into the factors behind the content they’re seeing, Pinterest introduced a home feed tuner and Pin-level edit options and controls.

“Now you can easily see the boards, topics, followed accounts and recent history that contribute to your recommendations and make tweaks so your feed stays relevant and inspiring.” The motive is to allow the feed to evolve with the user and their needs at a given moment.

The “Home Feed Tuner” tool provides a comprehensive view of the boards, topics, followed accounts and recent history activity that determine recommendations in a user’s feed. Users can toggle each of these factors either on or off depending on their interests and goals.

Potential use cases include turning off recommendations for wedding or vacation ideas after the event has passed, or opting out of ideas for a home remodel once the project is complete. Alternatively, you may be interested in searching for something, a certain clothing item or a recipe that you don’t need recommendations for.

“We’ll always work to show you great recommendations, but taste is personal and we want you to have a bigger say in defining and refining your own tastes on Pinterest.”

The change, Pinterest adds, also incorporates options for inspiration for secret boards such as surprise parties. These will still remain hidden from your profile as designated by a ‘lock’ symbol, but you can utilize the recommendations toggle if you’re looking for more ideas based on your secret pins in your feed.

The home feed tuner can be found at pinterest.com/edit or via account settings on desktop, indicated by a button with three dots, Android through the settings icon, and iOS under accounting settings.

Pin-level Controls

Beyond the feed, Pinterest is bringing these user-driven choices to the pin level. Specifically, you have the option to tell the platform if you’re unhappy with the content being delivered to you or if you’re indifferent and want context into how it appeared on your timeline in the first place.

“Now you can tap on the ‘…’ under any Pin to see why you are seeing the Pin and to give feedback if you don’t like it. You can also share feedback on why you’ve hidden a Pin so that we can learn not to show you similar ones in the future,” the company described.

By giving users more control over what surfaces on their home feed, Pinterest’s algorithm will be able to more accurately deliver content users want to see mapped to their preferences, interests, and values. Not only does this stand to boost the amount of meaningful time they spend on the platform, but may also result in more promoted content saved to boards.

“We approached this in the same way our engineers build recommendations on the backend, by handing a control panel over to the Pinner so she can tune her home feed and have the most relevant and inspirational experience possible,” explained Head of Pinner Products, Omar Seyal.

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