How Pinterest Will Track Performance of Promoted Pins

October 15, 2014

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What’s This?

Last year, Pinterest began a test promoting pins that appeared in search results or category feeds on the web or in mobile apps. They functioned just like regular pins, only they had a special “promoted” label, along with a link.

Pinterest began by promoting certain pins from a select group of partners. For their first test, they promoted a few pins in search and category feeds to get an impression of how they work, then they planned on using what they discovered to determine what kind of products and tools to offer partners.

In May of this year, Pinterest started working with a small group of brands in the U.S. with a paid test in search and category feeds. The company claimed they would use these brands to help test Promoted Pins to “make sure they’re tasteful, transparent, relevant and improved based on feedback.”

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Pinterest explained back then that tens of millions of people added more than 30 billion Pins to Pinterest and brands played a major role in this. In other words, Pinterest DOES NOT want you to equate their new advertising platform with selling, but rather with helping people to find inspiration for ideas, such as where to go for dinner, places to go, or gifts to buy.

The company’s strategy is to make Promoted Pins more relevant to Pinners, and help advertisers understand how their ads impact their business. On October 19, 2014, a few updates will be made to their Privacy Policy to explain those plans.




Things Pinterest Claims They Will Do To Improve Promoted Pins:

1. We want to help advertisers better understand how their Promoted Pins are doing. For example, an advertiser may want to know how often their ads are showing on Pinterest or how many people bought a product after clicking on a Promoted Pin. In the future, we’ll report that info to them.

2. We also want the Promoted Pins you see to be relevant to you and come from brands you’ve shown interest in. We hope to incorporate information advertisers share with us so that we can show you Promoted Pins that don’t feel random or distracting.

3. If you don’t want us to use info from advertisers to personalize the Promoted Pins you see, you can change your account settings. We’ll continue to support Do Not Track for personalization on Pinterest, as well.

4. If you’d like, you can get a preview of the Privacy Policy updates that’ll roll out on October 19. To learn more about the tools we’re building for advertisers and how we’ll tailor Promoted Pins, check out our Help Center.

According to the company’s policy, it will be collecting log data, cookie data, and device information. Pinterest users can opt out of being tracked, but it’s not clear to what extent.

Info Advertisers Share or Collect on Pinterest

Some of their advertisers may share information with Pinterest to measure and/or improve their Promoted Pins. Also, they may allow some advertisers to collect information from their Promoted Pins on Pinterest so they can understand how those ads are doing.

Pinterest explains how it works:

An advertiser may add a pixel to their website to help us understand who’s bought something on their site. This pixel lets us measure purchases that come from Pinners viewing or clicking on the advertiser’s Promoted Pins. We may use that data to report to the advertiser how effective their Promoted Pins are. We may also use that data to customize your Pinterest experience. If you don’t want us to use this info to personalize the Promoted Pins you see, go to your account settings and turn off Personalization.

An advertiser may share a “hash” (basically an anonymized scramble) of some identifiers (for example, email addresses). We can then match that with Pinterest users, and use the match to show targeted Promoted Pins to that group of people. If you don’t want us to target Promoted Pins to you this way, go to your account settings and turn off Personalization.

We may allow an advertiser, or company working for an advertiser, to place a pixel or similar technology on its Promoted Pins. This pixel lets the advertiser collect info on how well the Promoted Pin is doing.

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