Home New Extension Plasters Pinterest Into New Browser Tabs

New Extension Plasters Pinterest Into New Browser Tabs

Pinterest is expanding its visual experience outside of the Pinterest website with a Google Chrome extension called Pinterest Tab, a feature launched Friday.

With Pinterest Tab installed, you’ll see images from Pinterest appear every time you open a new tab in Chrome, overlaid with your Google Calendar and weather information. 

The project was conceived at a regular Pinterest Makeathon, where employees work on pet projects they don’t have time for otherwise. Pinterest Tab was developed as a prototype in fewer than 24 hours, and polished for public consumption in under three weeks. 

Pinterest engineer Ludo Antonov conceptualized the project. Like most Chrome extensions, this one is based on JavaScript and some HTML5. The software is not on Pinterest’s GitHub page, but Antonov said the company may open-source it depending on public interest. 

See also: Friday Fun: Build Your First Chrome Extension

“Basically we identified tabs as something you use on a regular basis, hundreds of times a day,” Antonov said. “We could bring a little more inspiration into the utility of Chrome.” 

Pinterest Tab is a pleasant little extension that basically provides ever-changing wallpaper to your Chrome browser. The images are always high resolution and appear to come from the upper echelon of Pinterest because they’re selected from the offerings of partners like Artsy, 500px, and National Geographic Your Shot

Pinterest As Wallpaper

After installing the extension, I realized that Antonov isn’t kidding when he says we see Chrome’s blank tab space hundreds of times a day; now this spot is filled with photos I want to see from a category or categories of my choice (in this case, the “travel” category). 

However, that’s not the only reason for Pinterest Tab’s existence. It doubles as a new way for Pinterest to promote the “Pin it” button, which prompts people to “pin”—the Pinterest term for posting on the site—more things more often as they browse. It automatically showed up in my browser window next to the search bar when I installed. 

Pinterest clearly has hopes that people will install the extension for the pictures, but then use the “Pin it” button more often as a side effect. Don’t, however, think of this as a forerunner of a larger “Pinterest everywhere” strategy; Antonov said it was just for fun. There aren’t even plans to bring it to other browsers.

“Right now we’re just focused on figuring out people’s reactions to the extension,” he said. “Based on what they say, we’ll work on how to improve or expand the experience.”

Screenshots by Lauren Orsini for ReadWrite

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