Saijo George

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wednesday9 Sep 2020

Pinterest Outlines Recent Improvements to Feed Ranking, Video Content Might Get Ranking Boost

Late last week, Pinterest provided a few extra pointers for Pin marketers as part of an overview of how it’s improved its home feed ranking system.

In the post on the Pinterest Engineering blog, Pinterest outlines how it’s updated its system to show more relevant Pin results to each user.

Pinterest has revised its system to improve the relevance of its recommendations and listings, which has seen significant improvements in engagement.

The process involves taking into account more user actions, and building a system that’s capable of responding to variable inputs.

That process has lead to various advances in feed display, which according to them include:

  • We were able to show more relevant pins to users by improving the accuracy of our predictions.
  • We improved engineering velocity by separating the model predictions from the ranking layer. We now can iterate on ranking functions by modifying utility terms and in parallel do model iterations.
  • We helped the business by enabling stakeholders to quickly adjust ranking based on business needs.

And that, at least in some part, is by design – as noted in the new ranking system overview:

“Video distribution was one of our main objectives in 2019 and achieving it via the old framework was difficult. In the MTL framework, we first defined a positive label for videos: was the video viewed for more than 10 seconds? We then added a new output node to MTL to predict this label. We then calibrated this node and added it into utility, including only video-specific actions: repins, close-ups and 10-second views. This increased our video distribution by 40% with increased engagement rates.”

So video Pins are not only more popular, they’re also being prioritized by Pinterest’s algorithm, which is an important note for marketers looking to make best use of the platform.

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