- Pinterest is testing a wider-framed Promoted Video ad format that displays content at the maximum width of a user's mobile feed, the company wrote in a blog post. The videos are available in 16:9 and 1:1 aspect ratio.
- Adidas, American Express, Chevrolet, Kohl's, Tropicana and Paramount Pictures are among the first major brands that will use the wider format this summer. The format will be available to more brands later this year in the platform's Ads Manager.
- Pinterest said the number of videos running on its platform surged 180% from last year. In the post, the visual social media app also said users are 1.6x more likely to say that videos boost their experiences with a brand and 2.6x more likely to make purchases after viewing them.
With six big corporate players in a range of markets from credit cards to sports joining the test phase of Pinterest's new wide-format ads, the app could have a compelling ad offer that could help it better compete for ad dollars against the likes of ad giants Facebook and Google.
The new maximum-width ad format aims to make the most out of small smartphone screens in order to transform them into a more engaging marketing platform. The wider screen makes ads stand out in cluttered feeds and gives marketers more space to tell their brand stories and compel viewers into action. Pinterest has found better response from video ads overall, with 67% of users saying that videos on the platform inspire them to take some sort of action, per the blog post. This confirms the results of a HubSpot Research study that found that 72% of consumers prefer video to text for receiving brand information.
The wider video format is one of a few creative concepts the company has launched recently. Earlier this year, Pinterest combined its Lens photo searches with text searches, letting users of the platform pair a search term like "winter fashion" or "date night" with a picture of a particular item of clothing. Pinterest has said its visual search has grown smarter with its ability to identify 5x as many things as it did a year earlier. The Lens visual search is now used to complete 600 million queries every month, pointing to the platform's recognition of visual search's power to differentiate its service from rivals like Google.
Pinterest promotes its platform as a strong alternative to Facebook or Google by giving advertisers a way to reach audiences who seek to discover new things, such as travel, fashion and home decor. The company isn't alone among social media companies in its transition to video ad formats that appeal to major brands. Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat have added more live and original video programming in the past year to accommodate these shifting viewing habits. Video ad spending grew 54% to $6.2 billion on mobile devices, the first time mobile video revenues overtook desktop video, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau.