Pinterest paved the way for greater business participation on Tuesday with the launch of a new set of resources designed just for them.
Companies will now be able to create business accounts, which allows them to enter just a business name — rather than a first and last — and verify their websites using a hidden line of code. Once the code has been recognized, businesses will receive a verification badge on their Pinterest profile pages. It’s not quite as good as Twitter’s profile verification — it would still be easy for someone to impersonate a company on Pinterest by verifying a URL that was similar but not owned by the brand — but it’s a start.
Companies that already have a personal account on Pinterest will be able to convert it to a business account.
During the sign-up process, companies will also be encouraged to add Pin It and Follow buttons to their sites, and embed widgets showcasing their pins. Widgets is an entirely new feature, and will be available both to individuals and to companies.
Beyond the new tools, Pinterest is also launching a business microsite displaying case studies from brands like Etsy and Jetsetter, as well as best practices and guidelines for brands, says product manager Cat Lee.
When pressed, Lee said the new features have “nothing to do with monetization or [Pinterest’s] business model. We know that when we do introduce a business model, we definitely want to design it in a way that makes the user experience better, but this announcement is just about taking that first step,” she added.
The company, which raised $100 million in funding at a $1.5 billion valuation in May, also updated its terms of service to include businesses.