Opinion: Why Pinterest’s New Guided Search Is Big News for Travel Agents (VIDEO)

While not the travel product it had been rumored to be, Pinterest has released a new Guided Search feature for its mobile app that could provide a new opportunity for travel agents to reach prospective clients. 

With the new Guided Search feature, when searching for topics on Pinterest’s mobile app, Pinterest will display a descriptive guide with pins from other users. Pinterest has released a video describing the new feature: 

Unlike more traditional search engines, Guided Search is aimed less toward conveying information and more toward helping users brainstorm new ideas. 

“Search engines are great for answering specific questions – the weather in San Francisco or the capital of Peru – but Pinterest can help with questions that have more than one right answer,” the company said in a blog post announcing the new feature. “Where’s your next vacation or what’s for dinner tonight? With so many possibilities, you might not know the best one till you see it.”

“Where’s your next vacation?” is a question travel agents have a vested interest in answering, and Guided Search could be an avenue for agents with a Pinterest presence to put their ideas in front of prospective clients. 

The new feature’s emphasis on brainstorming is in keeping with the overall inspirational theme of Pinterest as a platform. 

“People use Pinterest almost like a wish book,” Tim Peter, president of Tim Peter and Associates, told Travel Agent in an earlier column on the subject.

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Because Guided Search makes the information on Pinterest more searchable, savvy agents could be able to take advantage of it to reach a larger audience. For example, when Facebook released a similar search function, Graph Search, last year, social media marketers raced to optimize their posts to maximize their visibility on the new search offering. By introducing a more robust search feature, common search engine optimization tricks, like using popular keywords, became a new way to maximize visibility. 

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Guided search is still in its early stages. So far, Pinterest has debuted it in English on its iPhone, iPad and Android apps, but the company says that it plans to expand it to desktops and the rest of the world “soon.” Pinterest’s announcement is available here. 

Stay tuned to www.travelagentcentral.com for the latest social media news, tips and research.