Pinterest Ups Video, Adds Autoplay Function

Following the lead of Facebook and other social rivals, Pinterest is adding an autoplay function to its Promoted Video offering. With autoplay video, platforms risk intruding on users’ highly personalized viewing experiences.

Yet that can be avoided with the use of smart ad targeting, according to a Pinterest spokesman. “Since people are on Pinterest looking for ideas, relevant videos are not interruptive,” he said.

In addition to running in people’s home feeds, videos will also now autoplay in search results.

“This will give businesses an opportunity to connect with more consumers interested in their products and services,” the spokesman added.

Brands testing the new function include Universal Pictures, Visa, P&G, Pillsbury, Toyota, L’Oreal, Adidas and Tesco. Pinterest is also making it easier for brands to measure the impact of their video campaigns with new measurement partners, including Nielsen Mobile Digital Ad Ratings to measure the audience reach, and Moat to measure viewability.

Existing measurement partners include Millward Brown for brand lift, and Oracle Data Cloud to measure the impact on offline sales.

Rather than offer autoplay to all ad partners immediately, the plan is to rollout the function over the coming months. The units can be purchased via Pinterest’s self-service tool Ads Manager, a marketing partner, or directly through account management teams at the company.

Pinterest reportedly expects to rake in $3 billion in revenue in 2018. If accurate, that would be dramatically higher than the roughly $100 million in revenue Pinterest reportedly took in last year.

To drive revenue growth, the company is pushing brands and businesses to set up Promoted Pins. To encourage them, the visual search and sharing network recently began rolling out a new “Promote” button with which brands and businesses can launch Promoted Pin campaigns in as little as nine seconds.

Once Pins have been “promoted,” partners can then review or edit their campaigns using Pinterest’s Ad Manager self-service ad tool. To help businesses create Pins tailored to their particular objectives, Pinterest also recently released a creative best practices guide.

Investors continue to watch for signs that Pinterest is preparing to go public. Fueling their interest, the company recently brought on Todd Morgenfeld -- formerly VP of finance at Twitter -- as its first chief financial officer.

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