Aug. 1, 2013 — -- Instead of viewing Pinterest as a site to collect more stuff you want but just can't afford, you might start to think of it as a place to help you save money. Starting today, the social network is adding a new feature that alerts users when prices on pinned items drop.
In May, the social pinboard service added "product pins," which display more information about the object you've posted, including price, availability and retailer links. Now, when you have pinned one of those items, the social network will send you an email notification when the price drops. There are no mobile notifications for now.
"Many of the pins already have price information," Pinterest's Annie Ta told ABC News. "Now we are able to send notifications about the price dropping. We think it will be really helpful for the pinners and great for the websites selling the products."
But helpful means not bombarding Pinterest users with notifications, says Ta. Pinterest promises to keep the notifications at a minimum and will only send them a couple of times a day.
Users who don't want the alerts can disable them in the same settings menu where they can currently disable email notifications. At the moment, there are no customized options for the notifications; for instance, you can't specify when you'd want to get them or if you wanted them about a particular category of products.
Since rolling out the "product pins," Ta says that information about tens of millions of products has been added, including retail information on clothing, furniture or other items. But Ha emphasized that Pinterest isn't charging for this service or taking a cut of purchases, at least not at this point. Still, analysts say that this is all part of the young social network's growth, which hasn't yet begun monetizing the service or displaying ads.
"What they are doing by adding these features is removing the friction between the pinning and the sale," Susan Etlinger, an industry analyst at Altimeter Group, told ABC News. "In the past they have had a hard time making the distinction that people were pinning and then buying."
Pinterest says that since adding the product pin feature, the click-through rate is higher for product pins compared to regular pins.
"Pinterest is connecting the dots right now," Etlinger said. "This is a feature that makes it more valuable to the pinners and the retail sites."