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Pinterest to Unveil Early Results From Promoted Pins, as It Looks to Ramp Up Advertising

Pinterest is also unveiling the "Pinstitute," an effort to share best practices for promoting brands on the site.


Pinterest* will unveil early results from one of its first formal brand advertising efforts on Sunday evening, as the San Francisco company looks to roll out the product widely starting on Jan. 1.

The popular site, which has raised more than a half billion dollars in funding, allows users to post, or “pin,” images of clothing, food and other products they like. As the company looked to start ramping up revenue, it began testing a Promoted Pins program that invited brands to pay for pins that appear on the search and category pages.

Participants during the roughly six-month paid test of the service announced in May included companies like Expedia, The Gap, General Mills, Nestle, Old Navy, Target and Ziploc.

The company saw what it considers promising early results from the trial: Users shared promoted pins about 11 times on average, a figure in line with how frequently users share standard pins. That translates to a 30 percent “earned media” rate.

Courtesy: Pinterest

In other words: For every $1,000 of paid impressions, brands gets $300 worth more for free during the life of the campaign. In the month following, those companies continue to enjoy a five percent “earned media” rate.

The results were consistent across categories, including financial services, fashion, beauty and food.

Pinterest is also testing out an auction-based marketing product, based on clicks rather than impressions, but they’re not releasing information on that program yet.

The company also plans to announce the “Pinstitute,” inviting advertisers it works with to learn about and share best practices for promoting brands on the site. The first round will begin in March with the company’s initial beta partners, but the program will eventually be open to all Pinterest advertisers.

* Pinterest executive Joanne Bradford is an independent board member of Re/code’s parent company Revere Digital, but has no involvement in our editorial process.

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