It seems that Pinterest is the latest social media app looking to lean into the TikTok-inspired trend of a scrolling, vertical feed of content, with a new ‘Watch’ mode being tested for Pin discovery.

Pinterest Watch mode

As you can see in this example, posted by user @KenSchillinger, the new full-screen discovery option includes both a ‘Browse’ and a ‘Watch’ display, with the ‘Browse’ mode being the traditional Pinterest search feed, and the ‘Watch’ mode switching to a TikTok-style presentation of the same, with both video and still image Pins displayed in the vertical scrolling stream.

The following statement was given by Pinterest when we reached out to them for a response:

In order to assist our community of Pinners in discovering inspirational ideas, we are always testing new products and services. We are also expanding the number of methods for Creators and businesses to access a worldwide audience eager to explore new things.

Pinterest does not offer any particular information on this test, including how many people would be able to view the Watch stream at any given time. Nonetheless, it seems that the growing popularity of TikTok is encouraging even more UX options in other applications, as platforms strive to keep up with new user patterns and optimize engagement.

That makes perfect sense. It has been the most downloaded app each month for almost two years in a row, and its growing velocity is unlike that of any other social media app we have seen in the past. As a result, whole new participatory processes have emerged, prompting social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat to develop their own TikTok-like content streams in order to stay up with shifting audiences.

In this regard, it is a natural step for Pinterest to at the very least attempt the same thing. To put it another way, if an app contains visually aligned information and the developers are aware that users are increasingly seeking to consume such content in a vertical, full-screen feed, why not provide a way for them to do so with the goal of boosting user engagement?

It may be a small-scale test that fails miserably, but it seems to be a reasonable experiment – and given that Pinterest is already aligned with the social Stories movement (via Idea Pins), it also fits with the app’s more progressive approach to development.

Are you hoping that this would help consumers find more content via Pins and that this will help the platform grow as an eCommerce display tool? We will keep you informed of any developments.