Pinterest has launched new social media measurement tools to help businesses monitor user behaviour on the popular online scrapbooking site
The move forms part of Pinterest’s strategy to forge closer ties to companies and build a base for the introduction of money-making features.
‘Pinterest Web Analytics’ will give site owners insights into how people are interacting with "pins" that originate from their websites.
The new social media measurement tool will provide information about various types of user activity on Pinterest, such as the frequency with which people are clicking on a company's online photos.
The company, formed in 2009, announced the free offering on its blog on Tuesday.
"The goal is really to help websites understand what content is resonating with people on Pinterest," Cat Lee, a product manager at Pinterest, told Reuters in an interview.
Pinterest, which allows users to create online bulletin boards of images and photos based on various themes such as travel, decorating, or sports, was the 38th most visited website by U.S. Internet users in January, with roughly 30 million unique visitors according to online measurement firm comScore.
Pinterest has not disclosed how many companies have set up official business accounts on its service since it began offering the feature in November, and does not currently display any revenue-generating advertising on its website. However, retailers and large brands such as The Gap, Patagonia and Dell are increasingly using the site to promote their products.
In February, the company raised $200 million in funding from venture capital firms that include Andreessen Horowitz and Bessemer Venture Partners. The funding deal valued the three-year-old company at $2.5 billion.
Pinterest is valued at around $3.5 billion, and, in addition to February’s round, its previous fundraising has included a $30 million secondary sale and a $100 million round led by Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten.
The involvement of Rakuten sparked particular interest, given the synergy between Pinterest’s image-based service and the ‘marketplace’ Web retail model adopted by the Japanese firm, rival Amazon and others.