Pinterest Gets Chatty, Launches Its First Private-Messaging Feature

Chat away, pinners. Pinterest may be late to the game, but it's finally jumped on the messaging bandwagon.

learn more about Kim Lachance Shandrow

By Kim Lachance Shandrow • Aug 7, 2014

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The pain in the neck of sharing your favorite pins the old-fashioned way is over. You asked for a better way to gush over pins with your pin pals and Pinterest answered with "Conversations," its new direct-messaging feature.

Now you can swap private messages with fellow pinners on the popular photo-sharing social platform, straight from its website and its iOS and Android apps. It's super simple: When someone sends you a pin, you can send them a pin back or reply with a message.

Related: Pondering Facebook's Future, Zuckerberg More 'Excited' By Messaging Than Photos

Curious? Check out Conversations in action in the video below:

For those that pin well with others, Conversations also works for groups of up to 10 people, which comes in particularly handy if you're collaborating on a project. So, if you're planning a party with fellow pinners, you can message one another to exchange decor, entertainment and appetizer ideas, and to assign who's responsible for what. (Note: This feature only works if you actually follow each other on Pinterest.)

Related: A Guide to Perfect Social Media Posts (Infographic)

This isn't the first time Pinterest users -- now some 60 million active monthly strong (according to comScore) -- were able to share pins with other pinners. Last May, the San Francisco-based company went live with Send a Pin, a somewhat clunky feature that let people share pins with fellow users via notifications inside the site and with non-users via email contacts and Facebook friends. With Conversations, pinners conveniently (for them and you bet for Pinterest) never have to leave Pinterest to message each other pins and chat about them.

But, with this latest feature, don't expect Pinterest to become the next Kik, Snapchat or WhatsApp. "We're not a communications service," Pinterest product manager Michael Yamartino told TechCrunch. "We're not trying to be the place to say "What's up?' or "When are you coming home?'"

Related: Pinterest Just Made It Easier to Discover

With the release of Conversations, the image discovery social hub is able to play catch-up in the private messaging trend. Last June, Facebook launched Slingshot, a Snapchat-like app. And, in February, Mark Zuckerberg's social media titan snapped up mobile-messaging platform WhatsApp for a staggering $19 billion. Vine, a 40 million-user video snippet sharing platform, quickly followed "Big Blue" with its own direct-messaging feature. Instagram, which, of course, also boasts its own native messaging action, just last week rolled out Bolt, another Snapchat wannabe.

The message is loud and clear -- messaging is blowing up right now and everyone wants in. There are even dozens of, yes, pins dedicated to the hot topic.

Related: 5 Ways to Make Pinterest Work for Your Brand

Kim Lachance Shandrow

Former West Coast Editor

Kim Lachance Shandrow is the former West Coast editor at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was a commerce columnist at Los Angeles CityBeat, a news producer at MSNBC and KNBC in Los Angeles and a frequent contributor to the Los Angeles Times. She has also written for Government Technology magazine, LA Yoga magazine, the Lowell Sun newspaper, HealthCentral.com, PsychCentral.com and the former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. C. Everett Coop. Follow her on Twitter at @Lashandrow. You can also follow her on Facebook here

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