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Pinterest offers promoted pins to U.S. businesses

NEW YORK – Dec. 18, 2015 – Pinterest will let any U.S. business buy its “promoted pins” advertising product starting in January, the latest step by one of the technology world’s so-called unicorns to build an advertising business worthy of its $11 billion valuation.
Earlier this year, Pinterest began testing a self-serve system, mostly for small and medium-sized businesses, to create their own promoted pins just as big consumer brands do. Now that system will be open to all businesses, Pinterest’s monetization chief Tim Kendall said.
“The business is scaling very rapidly,” he said in an interview.
Pinterest is one of the world’s most valuable venture-backed start-ups. Like many in Silicon Valley, the five-year-old company put off making money to focus on creating new features and growing its popularity.
Over the last year, Pinterest has gotten serious about scaling an advertising business to compete with the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, especially when it comes to reaching consumers on their mobile devices. That’s where they increasingly scroll through glossy pins, mostly photos, posted by other Pinterest users tagged to certain categories.
Pinterest last January officially launched its first advertising product – the promoted pin that targets users based on their interests, location and other data, Pinterest’s equivalent of a sponsored Facebook post. Kendall says thousands of businesses are now paying for promoted pins, including “cinematic” pins, Pinterest’s first foray into video advertising.
Over the summer, Pinterest introduced a buy button to allow users to purchase items without leaving the Pinterest app. Some 10,000 retailers are trying out the buyable pins, Kendall says.
Pinterest is also seeing more activity from businesses in general, Kendall says, with 1 million businesses around the world accessing business accounts on the service at least once a month.
Observers say it’s too soon to tell if Pinterest is ready for prime time. According to a document reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, Pinterest had revenue of less than $25 million in 2014 but is projecting revenue of $3 billion in 2018. Pinterest officials declined comment.
Pinterest is essentially a catalog of 50 billion images, which its users, mostly women, pin to online boards to collect and organize their interests – so-called aspirational content that signals an intent to buy or take some kind of action, Kendall says. “Native” ads such as promoted pins are designed to look like and mix in with that content.
Pinterest is still a third the size of Instagram and a fraction of Facebook. Pinterest said in September it has 100 million monthly active users, 80 percent of them using Pinterest on their mobile devices. According to research firm ComScore, Pinterest had 84 million unique U.S. visitors in November, slightly lower than its high of nearly 84.5 million in October.
Copyright 2015, USATODAY.com, USA TODAY, Jessica Guynn
 
Source: Florida Realtors Feed

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