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Pinterest to open up user data to help target adverts

27/01/2015 by


Social networking site Pinterest plans to unpack more of its user data to help advertisers produce more targeted ads. The firm's head of operations said it would "focus on intent data" that would indicate what its users wanted to buy, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Pinterest currently offers ad products based on limited types of information, such as gender and location. One analyst said the firm would struggle to increase revenues unless it facilitated more targeted advertising.

"Pinterest's marketing value lies more in the future than in the present," wrote Nate Elliott of Forrester Research.

He added that the network's users tended to post things that they were interested in acquiring - information that would be valuable to an advertiser.

"We're encouraging marketers to put limited resources into Pinterest right now. Once the site broadens its targeting capabilities, though, it'll be time to spend," he wrote in a blogpost published soon before the company's announcement.

This week, according to the report in the Wall Street Journal, Pinterest executive Don Faul has indicated a willingness to do so.

"The focus this year is on unlocking the potential of our intent data," he reportedly told a conference in New York on Thursday.


He agreed that Pinterest was often used to bookmark things users wanted to purchase, saying it was not a "traditional user-generated content platform, it's a place where people are coming to discover new businesses, new brands and new products".

He told AdExchanger's Industry Preview conference: "Our users are expressing their future intent. It's not the shoes they bought last week, or where they went on vacation six months ago."

Mr Faul said that the plan was to make the data available this year. As it stands, Pinterest only allows advertisers to target their ads on a user's location, gender and the topics they are interested in.

The new products offered to advertisers will be based on a broader database and will enable them to delve deeper into Pinterest users' interactions with the site. But it will not include highly personal data, such as names and addresses.

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