Pinterest Pushes Buyable Pins to Android Phones, Introduces the Pinterest Shop

Aiming to Help Marketers Close Gap Between Mobile Ads and Sales

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Announced Tuesday, the Pinterest Shop will feature a collection of trending items that can be purchased via Buyable Pins.
Announced Tuesday, the Pinterest Shop will feature a collection of trending items that can be purchased via Buyable Pins. Credit: Pinterest

Pinterest said Tuesday that it will now offer Buyable Pins to Android users, effectively increasing its potential reach to an additional 1.4 billion devices.

Previously, Buyable Pins were only offered on Apple's iOS devices. They have yet to reach desktop.

The image bookmarking service also announced the introduction of the Pinterest Shop, a landing page of sorts that features a collection of Buyable Pins trending among its users. Items range from popular denim shirts to sweaters and scarves, for example.

Pinterest's decision to roll out Buyable Pins on mobile before desktop computers reflects trends in advertisers' and consumers' digital priorities. Marketers spent about $8.2 billion on mobile advertising in the first half of 2015, up 54% and equivalent to 30% of all digital ad revenue, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau. And when it comes to time spent on a computing device, mobile dominates desktop at a ratio of about 60/40, according to ComScore.

But turning those ads and that time into e-commerce transactions remains elusive for many.

"We focused first on mobile because 80% of all Pinners access Pinterest on a mobile device everyday," a Pinterest spokesman said. "Also, historically, conversions on mobile have been poor and we're hoping Buyable Pins can help remedy this."

Global smartphone shipments by manufacturers grew 13% year over year in the second quarter of 2015, according to International Data Corporation. Android continued to dominate the smartphone market in the quarter, with a share of about 83% of shipments, compared with 14% for iOS, IDC said.

The move is just Pinterest's latest effort this year to generate additional revenue.

It introduced Buyable Pins in June; by October, the company said there were more than 60 million Buyable Pins on the platform. The company also added thousands of new merchants with the addition of three new e-commerce platforms: Magento, IBM Commerce and Bigcommerce.

That same month, Pinterest said it will automatically capture location data from its 100 million-plus members who use its Place Pins service, positioning itself to potentially generate additional revenue down the road by pairing geolocation data with user-intent data.

In May, the company named Tim Kendall, who was previously head of product management, as Pinterest's first general manager of monetizations.

Buyable Pins will arrive on Android Wednesday and on desktop in the near future, Pinterest said.

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