With 1 Billion+ Travel Pins, Pinterest Gives Place Search An Upgrade

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Forget the idea that Pinterest is all about fashion photos, cute animals and inspirational messages. The company says it’s now hosting more than a billion Place Pins across four million Place Boards. Together, all this represents more than 300 unique countries and territories.

That’s a lot of image and board geotagging going on.

To make it easier for pinners to find and create all these location-based images and boards, the company announced Place Search improvements today that it says “supercharge” the experience.

The primary improvements, says Pinterest engineer Jon Parise, are about speed and making the Place Search experience more intuitive. The “more intuitive” aspect means replacing the previous dual search box experience with a single search box:

In the beginning, the place search interface was based on two distinct inputs: one for the place’s name (the “what”) and another for the search’s geospatial constraint (the “where”). We supported searching within a named city, within the bounds of the current map view, and globally around the world. While powerful, many Pinners found this interface to be non-intuitive. Our research showed Pinners were often providing both the “what” and the “where” in the first input box, just like they do when using our site-wide search interface. With that in mind, we set out to build a more natural place search interface based on just a single text input field.

Parise says the company’s early testing on this change was well received and made Place Pin creation more popular than ever.

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This update to Place Search is available now on Pinterest.com and its iOS app. The company says it’ll reach the Android app soon.