In today’s highly visual social media landscape, content marketing has evolved to become one of the primary focal points for most , specifically, as it relates to generating extended reach and referral traffic. So, it should come as no surprise that marketers have been intrigued about the opportunities available among ’s content-driven discovery platform since its doors opened in 2010.

However, for some time, major brands were hesitant to opt-in to the platform primarily due to its lack of warranted insights (e.g. closed ), as compared to Facebook and Twitter. But since the release of its first API in mid-November of last year, brands (and their advertising budgets) have been paying much more attention to the young, yet fastest-growing online sharing platform (58 percent growth in 2013) and its visually-compelling and share-driven audience.  In fact, Pinterest is a powerhouse when it comes to driving online sales (responsible for 23 percent of all social commerce). The new data offered a reminder that brands should look beyond just Facebook and Twitter when building their social media strategy and outreach.

Since many businesses (particularly large e-commerce and retailers) continue to leverage Pinterest to learn more about their customers and purchasing behaviors, it was only a matter of time before Pinterest provided more robust insights into the valuable data embedded within each of their 70 million members.

Early last week, Pinterest made the announcement that many industry insiders and marketers have long been waiting for – the release of a “Business Insights” API. The new added layer of data will give select third-party platforms, such as Hootsuite and Salesforce, more comprehensive domain insights, which will help them see which images are trending, how users are discussing their brand, and which pins are driving the most traffic. At launch, the other participating technology partners who will have access to the Pinterest Business API include Spredfast, Percolate, Piqora, Curalate and Tailwind.

The more granular data would provide value to brands by making their content and programs more measurable, and therefore, giving brands more meaningful insight into their performance on Pinterest. As a result, brands can leverage the insights from these third-party technology vendors to be able to make better decisions about which content and/or products resonates best with their audience base across the network, and therefore, generating further free or “earned” exposure for the brand.

While Pinterest would still offer their free analytics tool, they are encouraging marketing technology developers to build on it by adding insights and features (e.g. direct sales conversion tracking) that the social network currently doesn’t offer. For brands, the true opportunity will lie in the ability to draw value inferences from the insights and apply them to the efforts to help enhance their branded content value, reach and conversion. By understanding what works and what doesn’t, brands would be able to customize their own Pinterest activity accordingly as well as make adjustments to their overall, holistic content strategy

Moving forward, brands and marketers will most likely integrate the insights derived from the new “Business Insights” API into other Pinterest ad portfolio products, such as the recent rollout of their Promoted Pins, which launched a few weeks ago with select brands.