Pinterest Rolls Out How-To Pins

Trying to expand its usefulness -- and perhaps appeal to more males -- Pinterest is rolling out How-To Pins. The new type of pin presents a snapshot of the steps involved in making a particular product, or embarking on a DIY project.

Without leaving Pinterest’s core platform, the pins encourage users to click or tap on any of the individual steps to get the full instructions, and a list of necessary supplies.

“Pinners will start seeing How-to Pins from Home Depot,, Style Me Pretty, Greatist, ELLE, Marie Claire, Brit & Co., Sunset, Delish and more,” a Pinterest spokeswoman said on Tuesday.

The new pins are rolling out to users in the United States, France, the United Kingdom and Germany on Android and Web. Consumers will iOS devices will have to wait until the next update.

It is not exactly clear how or when Pinterest plans to monetize the new pins. More broadly, the company’s business prospects have never looked brighter.

Indeed, the image-based social network reportedly expects to rake in $3 billion in revenue in 2018.

If accurate, that would be dramatically higher than the roughly $100 million in revenue Pinterest reportedly took in last year.

Pinterest is betting its windfall on a successful international expansion. Already, during the first half of 2016, the company is expecting international users to account for more than 50% of its overall audience, a source tells The Wall Street Journal.

Following the lead of Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest recently began inviting every small- and medium-size business in the country to join its self-serve ad platform.

The pin-sharing platform also increased the number of keywords and specific interests that advertisers can sell against.

Last summer, Pinterest launched a new video unit along with fresh targeting features, cost-per-engagement measurement tools, more accountable pricing and an in-house creative team.

This year, Pinterest will have 54.6 million domestic users -- up 9% by eMarketer’s count. As has long been the case with the platform, the vast majority of is users (81.2%) are female.

Trying to live up to its $11 billion valuation, Pinterest is still trying to map out a clear monetization strategy.

Last summer, the company started rolling out a “buy it” button on its pins on iPhone and iPad apps. It also launched new shop categories, including "Shop our picks" -- a curated selection of seasonal goods -- and "Shop" for the latest buyable Pins.

Yet analysts were unimpressed with the effort. “The energy … appears premature,” Forrester analyst Sucharita Mulpuru wrote in a related report.

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