Pinterest for Business

2018. Pinterest is rolling out its automated shopping ads to more marketers

Pinterest is expanding Shopping Ads to hundreds of additional advertisers after launching a pilot program last year as it looks to continue to ramp up that tool. Pinterest has to be able to convince marketers that it should be a mainstay advertising purchase alongside Facebook and Google, which are able to routinely show returns in value for their advertising spend. Shopping ads automatically create promoted pins from an existing product feed for a retailer. That means it’s basically one less thing for retailers to worry about as they add more and more content to the service. Most of Pinterest’s content online is business content as users share products they might be interested in one day buying or already own. As Pinterest gets more and more data on this, they’ll have a better handle on what ads work best, and hope that businesses will hand off the process in full to something more automated.

2016. Pinterest buys news-reading app Instapaper

Pinterest has acquired the original read later service, Instapaper. Both Instapaper and Pinterest are essentially bookmarking services, but Instapaper tends to be about text, and Pinterest is all about images. For now, the company line is that nothing will change.  Pinterest is ostensibly buying Instapaper because it wants some of its technology (its text parser is pretty great) and the people who built that tech. But it seems very unlikely that Pinterest actually wants the Instapaper service itself. Sure, Pinterest says it will keep Instapaper running. Keeping a service running and keeping a service improving are two very different things, though.

2016. Pinterest opens up its ads manager tools to smaller and medium-sized businesses

Pinterest released a set of new advertising management tools that were previously unavailable for smaller businesses as its portfolio of advertising products — and revenue potential — continues to grow. Pinterest’s ads manager gives potential advertisers the tools that have already been available to partners for bulk-editing campaigns and more closely monitoring the success of those campaigns, as well as the ability to buy ads with a credit card to other advertisers on Pinterest as opposed to more complex mechanisms. All these tools continue to give smaller and medium-sized businesses new opportunities to manage advertisements on Pinterest. Around three-fourths of the content on Pinterest comes from businesses already, and these kinds of tools help them better get the right ads in front of the right people to drive conversions. And, of course, if smaller and medium-sized businesses are buying more ads, it drives more to Pinterest’s top line.

2015. Pinterest bought AI recommendation engine Kosei

Social image discovery site Pinterest acquired Kosei, a startup that focuses on machine learning for product recommendations. It’s a smart buy for Pinterest because the company’s path to profitability depends on its ability to connect users, products, and the companies or people selling them. Over the past year, Kosei has been building a unique technology stack that drives commerce by making highly personalized and powerful product recommendations, as well as creating a system that contains more than 400 million relationships between products. As Pinterest builds a discovery engine for all objects, Kosei is a perfect fit for them.

2014. Pinterest opens promoted pins to all advertisers

Pinterest announced that it will expand its advertising service, promoted pins, to all advertisers, starting Jan. 1. Pinterest introduced the program in June, which offered advertisers the chance to run pins that are targeted to users based on age, sex, location and interests. Pinterest claims the average promoted pins is shared 11 times, on average, meaning advertisers got about a 30% bump in earned media for their campaigns. So now Pinterest will compete with other social media outlets, including Facebook and Twitter, for the same advertising dollars. Unlike Pinterest, such competitors have formed relationships with advertisers over the past few years and have battle tested their ad programs in front of large audiences.

2014. Pinterest expands Promoted Pins to more businesses

Pinterest is rolling out its Promoted Pins platform to more businesses. Previously announced earlier this summer, Pinterest’s “self-serve,” performance-based advertising platform is aimed at small to medium-sized businesses looking to gain more views for their Pins from Pinterest users. Meanwhile, the self-serve platform partners only pay if users click through to view the promoted content. Those businesses now receiving invites to try Promoted Pins may have already expressed an interest in the product, the company says. While it makes sense for big brands to establish a presence on the social network, the self-serve platform opened up Pinterest’s advertising to a broader group of customers, similar to how Google AdWords lets anyone bid on placements next to Google Search results.