Content sharing social media platform Pinterest plans to launch a native video tool in the next few months, the company announced in a blog post on Wednesday.
Fortune reports the tool will initially be geared toward companies and experts that want to create how-to videos on topics like beauty tips or product demonstrations.
Pinterest says its users are twice as likely to watch how-to videos on its site compared to others. The company saw a 60% increase in the number of videos on its platform over the last year.
New video capabilities are only one of a series of steps that Pinterest has recently taken to strengthen its e-commerce, but the platform hasn’t yet made itself essential to retailers' social strategies as Facebook and Instagram have.
Of all the social media platforms, Pinterest seems to align most naturally with e-commerce: Its predominantly female user base often uses the platform for shopping inspiration and product discovery. A recent Cowen survey found that 55% of Pinterest users access the site for shopping purposes, far outdistancing Facebook and Instagram at 12% each.
But Pinerest is fighting against the perception that it has never really lived up to its e-commerce potential. A ChannelAdvisor report on social media from last September found that Pinterest trailed Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in sales conversions.
New tools like the native video player should help Pinterest boost its e-commerce, with the six-year-old site recently rolling out new capabilities to turn clicks into purchases. In June, the company expanded the use of Buyable Pin buy buttons on its website, and launched visual search and a new shopping cart feature that allows users to purchase goods from more than one merchant. These e-commerce features bring its look and functionality closer to that of major online marketplaces like Amazon than fellow social media sites like Facebook.
Pinterest's move to enhance its video capabilities comes as other social platforms are betting big on video, like Facebook, which recently updated its news feed algorithm to better emphasize video and has been promoting new live video streaming features. Experts see video as a major growth opportunity for social media companies.
“With so many bloggers, brands and other experts using video to share their ideas, it’s more important than ever that the video experience be as seamless as possible,” the company wrote in an blog post, teasing that it has “some big improvements in the works.”