Pinterest might be a marketer's dream — the site is largely used to curate products, styles, and recipes, much of which can be purchased — but so far there's been no obvious way to take advantage of the service's massive traffic. Today, Pinterest is finally releasing an analytics tool for website owners that reports on how their images are being interacted with across the social network. The service was previously too nebulous for marketers to utilize for promotion, but this new tool lays foundations that will enable brands to better drive traffic to and from the platform, and likely enable Pinterest's eventual monetization as well.

The new analytics display how images are traveling within Pinterest, and more importantly, which images are sending traffic back to the website that they came from. Though the analytics will be welcomed by marketers, it's only the first step for Pinterest, which is still catching up to third party services. Pinterest is already driving significant traffic for certain brands — in some cases more than Facebook or Twitter — but without a clear sense of what's happening on its service, the social network doesn't have the information to prove that it's truly valuable to them. Pinterest isn't there yet, but as tools like this one evolve, the company will move nearer to its own monetization.