Instagram and Snapchat continue to be some of the most disruptive forces in social media and digital marketing in general. Their influences are clear in the latest (so far only rumored) Pinterest concept.
According to anonymous advertising sources close to the company, the platform wants to develop a new placement for publishers and brands to focus on organic content by creating videos and multimedia posts. Advertisers will be given an opportunity to buy sections, primarily for video.
Pinterest is planning to test out the idea first before making commitment or charging for the space. The page might be called “Explore,” just like a similar section on Instagram. “Discover” is what Snapchat calls its own comparable space.
The latest trend in digital marketing, thanks to Instagram and Snapchat, is to stay native and true to each network before asking for any clicks to a website. Because of the two networks, marketers begin to give up the idea of tracking and measuring everything from impressions to clicks to sales, and getting comfortable with “soft data,” like market awareness and customer loyalty.
This is why the new section may play a key role in Pinterest success and affect whether its advertising platform will flourish or diminish. It is still unclear whether the whole page or only sections of it will be sponsored. Besides, questions remain about how the placement will be determined, whether it’ll be by bidding, specific section, engagement or combination of all. So far, it seems that “[Pinterest will] figure out the right value exchange with those content providers.”
Pinterest has been on the slower end of the spectrum when it comes to monetizing content. The platform has opened up its advertising features just about a year ago, after amassing a huge waitlist. Brands outside the U.S. had to wait to access the advertising platform even longer. Plus, the insight it gives into ad performance is very limited to say the least.
Regarding Pinterest retargeting tools and multimedia advertising, well, let’s say they were a couple of years late to the party. And while you could “pin” YouTube videos since the platform inception, natively hosted videos are still in the works. It follows that the “Explore” section should encourage video uploads and views on the platform.
It is apparent that Pinterest is lagging behind in a lot of the features that became the social media norm of today. From the business prospective, the network that was first positioned as a discovery tool, needs to leverage that positioning in order to stay relevant among brands and marketers. From the consumer standpoint, video became a format of choice when it comes to media consumption.
Pinterest is slowly but surely moving in the right direction though. To keep its significance among brands and consumers alike, the platform needs to tune in to market needs and balance its two sides masterfully. To their defense, all of the networks play the same balancing act these days.