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Pinterest Reaches 335 Million Active Users, Surpasses $1 Billion In Revenue in 2019



pinterest reaches 335 million active users surpasses 1 billion in revenue in 2019

Back in 2015, leaked documents outlined Pinterest’s ambitious growth plans. The company, which at that time was generating around $25 million in revenue per year, projected an increase in monthly active users to 329 million by 2018, and a jump in revenue to a massive $2.8b.  

And while those projections were indeed ambitious – and it’s now a year beyond that initial mark – the platform is not so far off. I mean, revenue-wise, it still has a way to go, but at the end of 2019, Pinterest sat at 335 million MAU, while it exceeded a $1b in revenue for the first time.

Slowly, quietly, Pinterest continues to build its case for advertiser investment. Here’s a look at the platform’s Q4 2019 performance data.

First off, on users – as noted, Pinterest is now up to 335 million monthly actives, which is an increase of 26% year over year.

Pinterest MAU - Q4 2019

Pinterest increased its US audience by 8% in 2019, while its international MAUs jumped 35%. Pinterest is particularly popular in European markets, with growing user bases in the UK, Germany, France and Italy, while it’s also been making moves to boost platform usage in India and South-East Asian regions. At this stage, developing regions don’t contribute significantly to Pinterest’s bottom line, but that expanded reach will ensure that the platform is well-placed to maximize opportunities into the future.

Pinterest’s 26% user growth rate is impressive. Over the last year, Pinterest’s expansion on this front has outpaced Snapchat’s DAU count, Twitter’s mDAU numbers, LinkedIn’s member growth and even Facebook’s MAU figures.

Pinterest growth rate

Given the variable metrics, it’s difficult to make a direct comparison, but based on the figures each platform chooses to highlight in their respective reports, Pinterest is growing faster, which is definitely worthy of note.

The next challenge then is to convert that audience into revenue – which, given Pinterest’s focus on product discovery, and increasingly, in-stream purchasing, should be its strength.

Pinterest brought in $400 million in Q4, an increase of 46% year-over-year, taking its full-year intake to $1.14b.

Pinterest Q4 2019 - revenue

Pinterest says that it saw continued strength in its conversion optimization products, which optimize Pinterest ad reach based on user actions, while it also benefited from higher investment from CPG advertisers. Pinterest also notes that the number of active advertisers on its platform has more than doubled year over year – “representing the highest rate of growth in over three years”. 

Another interesting element is the rise in interest in brands uploading their entire product catalogs to the platform, an option that Pinterest rolled out in March last year. Pinterest says that catalog feed uploads “increased 70% sequentially in Q4”, while clicks on related pins were up 2X YoY.

Also, video continues to grow on the platform. Pinterest says that there were 6X as many video views in 2019 as there was in 2018. Video is the top-performing content type on all social platforms, and Pinterest, going on this data, is clearly no exception.

In terms of revenue per user, Pinterest’s global ARPU grew 15% year over year to $1.22.

Pinterest Q4 ARPU

There’s still a way to go for Pinterest’s international market performance, but that may also point to significant opportunity. Pinterest is still expanding its advertising platform, with Germany, Austria, Spain and Italy only getting access to Pinterest ads last March. On balance, when looking at the expansion rates and opportunities, there’s good reason to be optimistic about Pinterest’s potential moving forward.

But then again, Google is watching. As Pinterest continues to branch further into product discovery, that takes search market share from The Big G, which Google is not going to take lying down. Over time, Google has continued to roll out various new, Pinterest-like options, which seem designed to nullify Pinterest’s potential, and protect its core business.

Of course, Pinterest’s market share is tiny by comparison, but if Google were to get more aggressive in protecting its turf, that could be a concern for Pinterest moving forward. 

But outside of that, the platform does appear to be on the right path, with opportunities rising, and usage and advertising interest evolving as time goes on. 

Also, this is interesting: 

“In the coming months, we’re planning to launch the Pinterest Verified Merchants (VMP) Program, which will be focused initially on fashion and home decor. Pinners will see VMP checkmarks next to all merchants in the program so they’ll know they’re browsing and shopping from a brand that meets our guidelines.”

Pinterest will soon have its own verified checkmark for approved brands, another solid step for the platform as it continues to grow.

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Pinterest Provides New Tips on Effective Pin Advertising Approaches



Pinterest Provides New Tips on Effective Pin Advertising Approaches

Pinterest has provided some new Pin ad tips, based on various brand lift studies, incorporating feedback from over 120,000 Pinners. The data shows that taking a multi-format, multi-stage approach can provide bigger returns, with brands that focus on awareness, consideration, and conversion seeing, on average, three times higher conversion rates than those aligned with just one objective.

Here’s a look at Pinterest’s key tips:

Experiment with multiple objectives 

As noted, Pinterest’s main action point is that advertisers should aim to target consumers at each stage of the purchase cycle, as opposed to focusing on just one aspect.

Enligt Pinterest:

“By adopting more than one objective, advertisers have seen up to a 57% improvement in sales lift. If you’re focused only on conversion, you may forgo reaching new customers further up the funnel.”

Of course, Pinterest would say that, as more ads equals more money for them, but the data shows that taking a broader focus, that incorporates each element, provides more scope to connect with Pinterest users, which can deliver better results.

Upweight your spend towards video 

As with all social platforms, video is the most engaging format on Pinterest, and is the most resonant messaging vehicle for brands.

So impactful is video in the app that Pinterest advises that brands should aim for video to comprise between 50% to 60% of their media plan, in order to maximize ROI and response.

Idea Pins are now Pinterest’s key format on this front, its TikTok-like full-screen vertical feed – and based on the data, that is proving to be the most effective brand messaging method.

Keep your campaign feeling fresh

Including ad variations in your creative mix can also improve your Pinterest campaign performance.

"A campaign with 10-15 creative executions (across a two month period) can drive a 3.2x increase in ad recall. While a campaign with 16+ creative executions can drive 2x the lift in favorability.”

That’s a lot of variants to come up with, but Pinterest also notes that using 3+ ad formats can increase awareness 3x, so you don’t necessarily need 16 or more versions of each ad, just a few to keep things fresh, and keep your promotions more engaging.

Take a holistic approach to measurement

Finally, Pinterest advises that brands need to link their upper funnel brand building and acquisition efforts to lower funnel performance activity, in order to get a true gauge of campaign performance.

"How-to videos, recipes and tutorials measure substantially stronger mid-lower funnel uplifts like 12x the impact on brand favorability and 8.5x on purchase intent. To maximize results pick the ad format that best fits your goals and aim to educate and inspire Pinners to incorporate your products or brand in their life in relevant ways.”

In other words, you need to consider the performance of each aspect in a broader campaign sense, as opposed to measuring each element against the same data points.

These are some interesting notes, which could help you put together a more effective Pinterest marketing strategy. And with 450 million users, and rising, and high purchase intent, it is worth considering the platform, and its potential value for your promotions.

You can read more Pinterest campaign set-up tips här.


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Frenesi i sociala medier väcker bankpanik



Frenesi i sociala medier väcker bankpanik

Copyright ANP/AFP Sem van der Wal

Juliette MICHEL

Fearful Twitter posts and anxious WhatsApp exchanges coupled with online banking ease are seen as helping power an internet-age run on a pair of now-collapsed American lending institutions.

Both Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank were hit with massive withdrawals by customers fearful of losing their money, but the speed was dizzying in an age when rumors spread like wildfire on social media and apps make moving funds with the click of a button simple.

Congressman Patrick McHenry, chairman of the US House Financial Services Committee, referred to the recent turmoil as “the first Twitter fueled bank run.”

Some messages that caused cold sweats among financial customers proved to be misleading, prompting calls to focus on facts not speculation.

Gone is the time when a “run on the bank” meant mobs of customers banging on bolted doors and demanding deposits back.

Now, as rumors of dwindling bank reserves ricochets about social media, customers can make them real by tapping into online accounts to transfer money.

Federal authorities took over Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) last week less than 48 hours after it first announced bad news.

The forced closure of Signature Bank came just two days later.

In between, high-profile entrepreneurs sounded an alarm and fired off advice on Twitter.

Investor Bill Ackman tweeted during the weekend that if federal regulators didn’t quickly step in and guarantee all deposits, runs on other banks would start Monday.

“You should be absolutely terrified right now,” investor Jason Calacanis tweeted, using all capital letters for emphasis.

“That is the proper reaction to a bank run and contagion.”

Meanwhile, startup founders shared bank trouble rumors in WhatsApp groups.

“The mix of technology and fast-moving rumors fueled a crisis of unprecedented speed,” researcher Jonathan Welburn of the Rand Corporation think tank told AFP.

Online banking was around during the 2008 financial crisis, but “the adoption of these technologies is definitely increasing,” he said.

– Circuit breakers? –

Banking regulators need to put in place “circuit breakers” that could quickly suspend banking transactions in the event of cyber attacks, weather disasters, or customer panic, said Hilary Allen, a specialist in financial technologies at American University in Washington.

This is a “very political” undertaking, Allen said.

“Banking regulators need to think about what this kind of technological circuit breaker would look like, and in which circumstances they would be ready to deploy it.”

Markets have seen the power of online platforms trigger surges in the prices of “meme stocks” like video game retail chain Game Stop and AMC Theaters due to endorsements in chat forums at Reddit.

“The flip side is that social media can also exacerbate panic and loss of confidence,” Allen said.

In the case of SVB, fears which spread on social media resonated loudly with the bank’s customers, who tended to be tech-savvy entrepreneurs keenly tuned in to online chatter.

The collapse of SVB was the second largest bank failure in the United States but played out in barely two days.

The largest bank failure in the country, that of Washington Mutual in 2008, took place over the course of eight months.

At that time, Twitter and iPhones were fledgling products; there were no WhatsApp groups, no Slack chat threads, Welburn noted.

“What happens when bankers are drowning their sorrows in the social media age?” Welburn wondered.

“Viral posts, retweets and shares could deprive regulators of precious time.”


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Marknadsföringsinformation: Amerikanska marknadsförare förbereder beredskapsplaner mitt i ett potentiellt TikTok-förbud



Marknadsföringsinformation: Amerikanska marknadsförare förbereder beredskapsplaner mitt i ett potentiellt TikTok-förbud

With the possibility of a TikTok ban in the U.S. once again gaining traction, some marketers and agency execs say they’re readying contingency plans. Others, meanwhile, say that the uncertainty of a potential ban makes it difficult to forecast where spend would be moved.

“We’ve seen so many platforms have their peaks and valleys with their growth journeys that having multiple contingency plans for everything that could happen is part of what we do,” said Han Wen, L’Oreal chief marketing and digital officer, when asked about the potential ban. “As one of the largest advertisers in the U.S., we have to be extremely practical when we think about the directions our investment can take, so having contingency plans is part of everything we do for every media partner we have.”

While there is a renewed sense of uncertainty when it comes to TikTok in the U.S., especially after President Biden’s demand last week that TikTok’s Chinese owners Bytedance sell off their shares or deal with a U.S. ban of the app, marketers and agency execs have already dealt with previous rounds of uncertainty with the app, particularly former President Trump’s same demand that Bytedance sell off TikTok. Given that the likelihood of a ban is still up in the air, marketers and agency execs are choosing between making contingency plans and waiting for a firm answer.

“We also know enough to know we are not in a place to read the tea leaves with what may or may not happen,” said Wen. “All we can do is make sure we have plans in place, which we do. And we have plans in place for all of the various scenarios.”

Marketers and agency execs say the conversation around contingency plans tends to focus on other short-form video apps like Instagram’s Reels, YouTube’s Shorts and Snapchat.

“The impact on potential spending is likely to be diffuse — we don’t see brands necessarily planning to move their entire TikTok spend to one other platform,” said Liz Cole, executive director, U.S. head of social at VMLY&R. “From a creative perspective, we can expect the content itself to adapt to a number of other short-form video platforms including Instagram, Snap or YouTube. And for brands further upstream in the creative process, they might choose to tell their story across a variety of other formats.”

Of course, should TikTok be banned, determining where to focus creative efforts or move media dollars wouldn’t be the only consideration for marketers. “If TikTok was banned, other than stopping media on the platform, the other immediate priority for advertisers and publishers would be for brands to remove any TikTok tracking pixel,” said UM global chief media officer, Joshua Lowcock.

At the same time, the potential ripple effects of a possible ban for TikTok don’t stop at TikTok.

 “I think it’s a misnomer to call it a TikTok ban,” said Lowcock. “If you look at the proposed legislation, it’s really about foreign government ownership and control, this could play out as a challenge for other companies that are Chinese-owned, controlled, or have China as a substantial investor.”

The ban could also make advertisers, already a risk averse bunch, even more so now. 

“If TikTok were to become a non-viable channel for advertisers so soon after its entrance to the mainstream, it could increase hesitance among brands to try new social platforms,” said Cole. “Not every advertiser had the confidence to leap onto TikTok when its popularity first surged, and I could see some of the slower movers viewing this as confirmation that a more cautious, less experimental stance is warranted.” 

The uncertainty of the longevity of a social platform — whether in popularity or availability — has also been made clearer this year overall. “We can’t take the longevity of any social platform for granted, no matter how popular or established it seems,” said Cole. “That doesn’t mean brands should hold back from trying any new things — but they need to have a strategy that is grounded in the brand itself and the behaviors of consumers, not just the features of specific channels.” 

3 Questions with OAAA’s President and CEO Anna Bager

OAAA recently partnered with Morning Consult to take a look at the current out-of-home advertising marketplace. Tell us about that.

We wanted to understand how consumers move around. But we also wanted to understand, specifically, how some audiences that are hard to reach with other media formats, from underserved [or] under underprivileged and underdeveloped audiences that are in areas where you may not have access to other forms of media, how they are exposed to our ads, both from an advertising perspective but also just a health and public service messaging. We see that consumers are out and about more often. 88% of these consumers notice out of home ads and 78% recently engaged in some way, which really demonstrates the influence of our medium.

What does this mean for the advertising industry?

With OOH ads, it doesn’t really interrupt your media consumption. It’s sort of just there. It’s often seen as a service and it’s being noticed. You can’t skip it, you can’t block it. So it’s a great way of connecting with consumers. Then, we’re a one to many medium. Ads can be perceived as for you only and there are certain environments where it’s very close to that. But for the most part, it’s seen by many, which means that we don’t have the privacy challenges that you have online. That is a plus in today’s environment where regulation is getting increasingly hard when it comes to how you use data and then also how you can do to target consumers.

The OAAA has their annual OOH Media Conference coming up at the end of March. What can attendees expect?

The theme of the conference is breakthrough. We don’t really want to talk about the pandemic anymore. But it’s not a secret exactly that we were down in the pandemic. And now we’re back, so it’s about our industry breaking through. It’s also about the tech coming back. We’re now the fastest growing ad medium of all. We had a great 2022 and it looks like 2023 that as well. It’s also about [how] our industry has gone through and continued to go through massive technological change. –– Kimeko McCoy

By the numbers

People expect more from the brands they shop with nowadays. In response, advertisers have spent at least the last year ramping up more full-funnel marketing strategies, which include brand building and direct response marketing. Expect more of the same this year, according to new research released by Reach3 Insights and The Keller Advisory Group, which reports that shoppers more often prefer brand experiences over traditional advertising. Find more details from the report below:

  • Consumers prefer brand experiences such as social media content, creator content, metaverse happenings and live events over traditional advertising by 69% to 48%.
  • The research shows 80% of consumers have engaged or are interested in engaging with brand experiences, with 43% saying engaging with brand experiences would make them more apt to want to try a brand as compared to just 21% who said so about traditional advertising.
  • once consumers engage with brand experiences, they find them to be more relevant than traditional advertising, with 51% saying so compared to 25% who feel traditional advertising is more relevant. — Kimeko McCoy

Quote of the week

“When there’s mass layoffs, there will be two or three weeks where we as publishers get very frustrated because we don’t get a response.”

— said Phil Ranta, COO of We Are Verified, when asked about the impact of Meta, Snapchat and Twitter layoffs on agency relationships.

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