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Pinterest to Open Promoted Pins to All Advertisers Starting Jan. 1

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As Pinterest looks to ramp up its revenue, the social networking site, branding itself as a visual discovery tool, will start rolling out Promoted Pins to all advertisers beginning next year.

In a blog post, Pinterest head of Partnerships Joan Bradford says the company has seen a successful eight-month reservation-based beta advertising program that relies on a cost per impression model, which means advertisers pay a certain amount once a Pin has reached a certain number of views or impressions. Early participants include Expedia, Nestle, Ziploc, Old Navy, Gap and Target.

Bradford says Pinterest offers a unique advertising platform because, unlike other websites that focus on the past or the present, Pinterest offers users a place where they can carry out their plans.

"Eight months ago, we launched a Promoted Pins beta for our brand advertisers. Results have been promising, and we're now ready to bring this amazing opportunity to everyone. Our reservation-based Promoted Pins will be open to all partners in January 1," Bradford said. "This is a huge unmatched opportunity for marketers today -- while some platforms look to the past or present, only Pinterest focuses on the future."

During the early testing program, Bradford says Promoted Pins showed strong engagement from users as they were repinned 11 times on average, which is the same number of repins for organic pins. This gives Promoted Pins a 30 percent increase in "earned media" or free impressions. In other words, for every $1,000 an advertiser spends on Promoted Pins, he receives $300 worth more free impressions.

The Promoted Pins also perform well long after the campaign ends, says Bradford. This is because pins, which are mostly evergreen, receive an extra five percent bump in impressions several months after they are posted.

The results hold true across various categories, including financial, auto, food, brands and several other industries.

Once Promoted Pins become available, Pinterest advertisers will have access to more ad format options and advanced targeting tools. This follows the launch of Pinterest's analytics dashboard, which allows advertisers to monitor how their pins are doing by viewing stats such as which content is being pinned and how many times.

Pinterest is also working on an auction-based version of Promoted Pins that is based on a cost per click (CPC) model. Early testing with self-serve beta partners are seeing "major gains in traffic and impressions," according to Bradford, but the program still has some kinks that need to be smoothened out. Until then, the company won't speak much about its auction-based CPC advertising program ,but it will be rolled out to all businesses at a later time.

Along with the new advertising program, Pinterest will also launch Pinstitute, a training program that aims to teach advertisers the best ways to make the most out of the platform. Pinstitute has already scheduled the first of its quarterly workshops with major brands in March, while small businesses will have access to webinars and other online learning tools.

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