- Pinterest, the image-search app with 175 million users, rolled out Promoted Video with autoplay to all users yesterday, according to a blog post by the company. It began testing the feature a year ago with brands like General Mills, Kate Spade New York and Universal Pictures.
- Pinterest will continue to bill marketers by the number of ad impressions, including when a smartphone user skips past an ad while scrolling through their newsfeed.
- Businesses can access Promoted Video with autoplay through Pinterest Ads Manager, Pinterest Marketing Partners or an account manager.
Pinterest is ramping up its push into autoplay video ads, a format popularized by social network Facebook as a way to bolster revenue and lure more advertisers.
Major brands have seen positive results from video ads on Pinterest, the company said in the blog. Visa saw a 33% gain in being considered the most innovative payment option among its target demographic. Universal Pictures targeted women already planning weekend activities to promote its blockbuster movie "Girls Trip," boosting interest in the film. Cheetos saw a 51% gain in purchase intent among its target demographic, according to Pinterest.
The decision to embrace autoplay video ads doesn't come without potential issues, however. Users are looking for less intrusive experiences and may find videos that automatically turn on to be annoying. This is what Snapchat discovered with autoplay Stories, a feature that was turned off last fall following user complaints. The conundrum for platforms is that autoplay drives engagement for brands. Pinterest hopes it can offer the right balance between user experience and monetization because the nature of the platform is that users are searching for inspiring content, despite adopting promoted videos rather late compared to other platforms.
Marketers have complained about inaccurate viewership numbers, but Pinterest is addressing those issues by partnering with third-party measurement companies like Moat, whose data may help advertisers reach their targets among the platform's generally young, female and aspirational audience.
Pinterest seeks 67% percent growth in revenue to at least $500 million this year, according to press reports. Before offering video ads, the company had one type of ad offering, Promoted Pins, which let marketers push their image or video posts to users who may not follow them on the service. Autoplay video ads are clearly an important part of the company's growth strategy this year.