Pinterest adds impression-based buys to its ad auction


If Pinterest wants more brand advertisers to buy its ads — and it appears that it does — then it needs to make it easier for them to buy its ads the way they like to. So it is.

Pinterest is going to start letting marketers in the US and the UK buy ads through its auction based on how much they’re willing to pay for each impression. These ads will be eligible to appear in the same places as Pinterest’s other auction-based ads, such as within search results, in people’s home feeds and within category feeds.

Until now, advertisers buying Pinterest ads through its ad auction could only bid based on how many people click on or engage with their ads. Click-based buys are fine for direct response advertisers, like e-commerce companies who buy these ads so that someone visits their site and buys something. And some brand advertisers like engagement-based buys because the engagements can create a ripple effect that leads to more people seeing their content. But some brand advertisers care less about earned attention than maximum attention. So Pinterest is giving them that option.

Brands now bidding based on impressions can tell Pinterest the maximum number of times they would want someone to see their ad, and Pinterest will try to get the ad in front of the most people, given how much a brand is willing to pay and how specific or broad the audience it’s targeting is.

“By using this new solution, you’ll get more impressions for your campaigns at more efficient rates and drive higher results,” according to a company blog post published by Pinterest on Thursday announcing the new ad-buying option.

Previously, to buy ads based on being seen — or at least the chance of being seen and nothing more — advertisers had to go through Pinterest’s direct sales force, which could be pretty costly.

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