pinterest-logo-white-1920When you look at the variety of social networks, each of them definitely has their own style and flair.  Pinterest is one of those social networks that have just the right level of flair that makes them quite different from the others.  They aren’t so much a social network for people who want to share with friends.  Rather, co-founder and CEO, Ben Silbermann said “Pinterest is about me, what I want to do. What I’m thinking about doing in the future,” during an interview on stage at the IAB MIX conference this week in New York.

Silbermann said that because you aren’t really sharing with your friends, this makes Pinterest particularly effective for advertising since brads’ products and services are a natural part of the content mix found within the network.  Having ads on Pinterest is a fairly new thing.  The main ad product, called Promoted Pins, have been around for only 14 months and has a low opt-out rate from users.  Silbermann says that their “rates are well below the industry.”

Pinterest is five years old, but Silbermann says that he’s still getting questions from potential advertisers about how Pinterest works.  He said that “we spend a lot of time educating people about how do folks use it.”  To help illustrate, he would take out his phone and show Pin board on what he is planning to cook for dinner, activities that he would like to do, ideas how to do home redecoration, etc. It’s “really core life-planning things,” he said.

In all this content, you will find Pins about business products and services that fit quite naturally.

“When we hold workshops for our partners, we really talk to them about how to create advertisements that are useful enough that people will actually want to save them,” Silbermann said. “I think people are kind of tired of ads that are just trying to grab their attention away from everything they are doing.”

With Pinterest, the focus has been on displaying as much information as possible.  If there is some kind of data on a product that is associated with a page that’s pinned (like price or size), then Pinterest is going to show that to users.  It only seemed natural to give the ability for people to make purchases directly on Pinterest.  This is where Adding Buyable Pins came in.  This has been the biggest requested feature, says Silbermann, and Pinterest rolled the product out on iOS devices this summer.

The next step for Pinterest is now global expansion.  The company finally announced its user numbers for the first time, saying that they have 100 million monthly activities.  This total has doubled int he last 18 months.  Over half of those users (55 percent) are US users.  Despite that fact, international growth is actually higher than the US, so Silberman believes that the company will end up flipping that ratio.

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