Pinterest Opens to Outside Measurement, Says Ad Tech Drives 50% of Revenue

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Promoted pins on Pinterest.
Promoted pins on Pinterest. Credit: Courtesy Pintrest
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Pinterest is bringing much-needed measurement partners to its ad tech platform, which now contributes half of its ad revenue, the company said on Wednesday.

The social media platform said that it will let brands tap new third-party partners to help target ads and report on the success of campaigns. Impartial measurement has become a crucial component for any social advertising platform, because brands want to be able to trust the numbers they get back from campaigns.

Brands have often had to rely on self-reporting from sites to find out how many people saw their ads or what results followed. But platforms are increasingly giving in to marketers' pressure for third-party sources by opening up to outside firms. Pinterest has turned to Moat, Adjust, AppsFlyer, Apsalar, Kochava and Tune to offer more robust analytics on mobile ads.

The partners are receiving access to Pinterest's API, the application programming interface.

"We're allowing our marketers, our partners to be able to measure and quantify business results," said Michael Akkerman, Pinterest's head of marketing partners.

Pinterest already had deals with companies such as Oracle Data Cloud to gauge the impact of campaigns on actual sales in stores for some marketers.

Pinterest is trying to compete for ad dollars with giants like Facebook and newcomers like Snapchat, and ad technology with a robust lineup of partners is key to catering to today's marketers.

Pinterest has been building out its ad tech platform for about 18 months, since launching its ads API in 2015, a process that marketers have variously described as deliberate or slow.

Pinterest is known as a place where its users curate their pages by posting products and brands they like.

"They're planning their everyday lives," Mr. Akkerman said. That helps Pinterest gather what it calls "intent" data on products or services that consumers plan to buy.

Pinterest's latest partnership upgrades are meant to let brands make better use of their own data, mingling it with Pinterest's consumer insights to target people more accurately.

Pinterest also is going after more app-install advertisers, developers in need of downloads, Mr. Akkerman said.

Ad tech partners help clients like app developers target consumers across the digital landscape, and they pour money into any platform that can provably meet their goals. "They work with numerous brands across every single vertical and industry," Mr. Akkerman said.