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Pinterest Opens the Business Floodgates … Finally

Wednesday, 14 Nov 2012 | 3:47 PM ET

Just in time for the crucial holiday selling season, Pinterest has launched a new set of features to cozy up to the business community.

Source: Pinterest.com

As part of the launch, Pinterest is reversing its former ban on businesses and instead offering them separate tools and terms once they convert their existing accounts to commercial ones.

Prior to the announcement, Pinterest's terms of service included a license to use the service "for your personal, noncommercial use." Nevertheless, thousands of businesses have flocked to Pinterest since its 2009 inception to create accounts and drive brand awareness in hopes of boosting ecommerce sales.

The site drew 26.7 million unique visitors last month, up from 3.3. million in the year-ago period, according to research firm comScore. This rapid growth has drawn businesses, especially retailers, to expand their presence on the site.

Pinterest's new page for businesses details how they can embed pins and boards on their third-party sites in addition to incorporating buttons for users to pin items or follow their Pinterest pages.

On its new business page, Pinterest acknowledged the impact businesses have made on its site so far and detailed a handful of case studies from businesses including Jetsetter, Allrecipes.com and Etsy that have used Pinterest to drive traffic to their sites.

For example, after allrecipes.com redesigned its website with more emphasis on Pin It buttons, more than 50,000 recipes were pinned in three months, resulting in 139 million Pinterest impressions and a more than 900-percent rise in clicks on the Pinterest content.

In addition to the case studies, Pinterest has published a set of best practices that have worked for companies. Companies can also track which items that users have been pinning from their sites most frequently.

Although Pinterest did not mention any monetization plans now that it has rolled out the welcome mat for businesses, the company's platform manager Cat Lee did say on a call that it would like to provide analytics tools to businesses in the future, according to an allthingsd.com report.

-By Katie Little, CNBC News Associate

Questions? Comments? Email us at consumernation@cnbc.com. Follow Katie Little on Twitter @katie_little_.

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