Pinterest ventures into online events to tap booming demand

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Pinterest, the American image sharing and social media site is getting into online events.

The company has been spotted testing a new feature that allows users to sign up for Zoom classes via Pinterest, while creators use the class boards of Pinterest to organize class materials, notes and other resources, or even connect through a group chat option with attendees.

The company confirmed that the online class test is an experiment that is currently being developed, but would not provide further details about its plans.

When and if the feature is later launched to the public, the communities would include dedicated sections where creators will be able to organize their class materials like lists of what to bring to class, notes, photos and more. They could also use these communities to offer a class overview and description, connect users to a related shop, group chat feature and more.

Creators are also able to use the communities, which are basically enhanced Pinterest boards, to respond to questions from attendees, share photos from the class and otherwise interact with the participants.

When a user wants to join a class, they can click a “book” button to sign up, and are then emailed a confirmation with the meeting details. Other buttons direct attendees to download Zoom or copy the link to join the class.

Expected move

It’s not surprising that Pinterest would expand into the online events space, given its platform has become a popular tool for organizing remote learning resources during the coronavirus pandemic. Teachers have turned to Pinterest to keep track of lesson plans, get inspiration, share educational activities and more.

In the early days of the pandemic, Pinterest reported record usage when the company saw more searches and saves globally in a single March weekend than ever before in its history, as a result of its usefulness as an online organizational tool.

Throughout the year, this growth continued. In October, after the company beat revenue and user growth metrics, Pinterest’s stock jumped on solid earnings. The business took in $443 million in revenue, compared to $383.5 million expected, and raised its monthly active users to 442 million, compared to the expected 436.4 million.

Apart from the impact of coronavirus, much of this growth was attributed to strong international adoption, increased ad spending by Facebook boycott advertisers and a wave of interest from users searching for ideas for personalization of iOS 14 home screen.

Given that the world is still struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic, many classes, events and other activities will remain virtual even as we head into 2021. The online events market may continue to grow in the years that follow, too, thanks to the kickstart the pandemic provided the industry as a whole.

“We are experimenting with ways to help creators interact more closely with their audience,” a Pinterest spokesperson said, without revealing more information.

Industry experts expect the feature to become more widely available sometime early next year.