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Pinterest has new ad-targeting options like ‘vegetarian barbecue’ and ‘desk yoga’

Better targeting = better ads, Pinterest hopes.

A tray full of vegetables roasts on an outdoor barbecue. Ullstein Bild / Getty Images

Pinterest makes money from advertising, and like other companies that make money from advertising (Facebook, Google), it can make more money if it gives advertisers better targeting so it can reach the right people.

So that’s what Pinterest is doing: On Thursday, it announced the “Taste Graph,” a collection of 5,000 user interests that it will use to let advertisers reach very specific, niche audiences.

Pinterest had targeted advertising before, but on a much smaller scale — its previous list had only 400 different interests. The new list is much more expansive, and includes niche, obscure interests like “vegetarian barbecue,” “desk yoga” and “email newsletter design.”

The purpose is to give advertisers more options and, hopefully, better-performing ads. Pinterest product manager John Milinovich, who joined the company when it acquired his mobile ad startup URX in May 2016, said this kind of niche targeting leads to better-performing, and ultimately cheaper, ads. Pinterest is targeting revenue of more than $500 million this year, and connecting advertisers to people that are considering a specific purchase is a key focus.

Worth noting in the wake of Facebook’s recent ad-targeting drama: Milinovich says that all of Pinterest’s 5,000 targetable interests are approved by a human being.

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