Scripps Explores Pinterest's Snapchat Rival

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Food Network's Pinterest page
Food Network's Pinterest page Credit: Food Network via Pinterest
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Pinterest plans to launch its Explore section with a fitting publisher, Scripps Networks Interactive -- the owner of Food Network, HGTV and Travel Channel, according to people familiar with the media partnership.

Pinterest also could bring Tastemade into the fold, one of the people said.

Explore aims to be a rival to Snapchat Discover, and Pinterest is looking to strike similar publishing deals. Both Tastemade and Food Network create for Snapchat Discover.

Scripps did not answer a request for comment.

These types of content plays are becoming core parts of social media platforms and their strategy to keep their viewers tuned in, especially on mobile devices. For their part, publishers and media companies are signing on, sometimes at the expense of their own web traffic, to reach the massive digital audiences on these popular new channels.

It's unclear exactly what the terms of Pinterest's deals with publishers will be, but it will likely split ad revenue with them.

The Explore section will be a separate tab within Pinterest, with topics people such as Do-It-Yourself, home design, food and travel, according to people who have seen it.

The pages will be populated with content from publishers like Scripps, and there will be videos and other multimedia posts.

"Publishers make sense for Pinterest," said Jill Sherman, senior VP-social at DigitasLBi. "People are using the site to plan everything from meals, outfits and travel to home remodeling. Articles and listicles that contain advice, tips and tricks to make planning easier, to inspire the reader, make total sense."

Pinterest has been growing its audience, and recently claimed 150 million active users. Perhaps because of this, advertisers have been willing to experiment with the platform even when its ad targeting and technology were in need of upgrades.

Pinterest has been known as a slow starter, and it has stopped and started ventures in the past that haven't panned out with publishers.

"The big difference here is that video is a big focus of this offering," said one publishing exec, speaking on condition of anonymity. "Publishers now feel they have the right offering."

Video ads are relatively new for Pinterest, and it is catching up to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat by embracing the format.

Everyone spoken to for this article said Pinterest was in the very nascent stage with the Explore product, and much is still to be worked out.

"We are looking at ways to help people discover new and trending ideas from brands and publishers," a Pinterest spokesman said in an e-mailed statement. "We have nothing to announce at this time."