As with all social networks, Pinterest has seen increasing interest in video content. In the last year, Pinterest says they've seen a 60% increase in videos on the platform, with "workouts, home projects and hair & beauty tutorials topping the charts". Working with this trend, Pinterest has been testing out new video options to help Pinners stand out and increase their engagement on the platform.
Last May, Pinterest unveiled "Cinematic Pins", GIF-like, motion-activated Pins that move as you scroll.
This was Pinterest's first move into a native video format - of course, you can Pin videos from other platforms to Pinterest already, but there's no option to upload and maximize video exposure on the platform in an organic way.
But Pinterest video is coming, and they're starting with a new ad option which integrates video content more naturally into the Pinterest experience.
Called "Promoted Video", Pinterest's new video offering moves as users scroll, just like Cinematic Pins, but that video can now be expanded to a new, separate tab, with relevant products listed below the content.
As you can see from the example, the video can be expanded to full-screen mode, or left minimized, enabling users to scroll through products as the video plays. That element is important - Pinterest says that 67% of Pinners have indicated that video on Pinterest inspires them to take action - and with 75% of saved Pins coming from business boards, it's pretty safe to assume the majority of that inspiration is coming from brand content.
If a user clicks on a related Pin, that Pin is expanded and the video pauses in the background. Once the user clicks out of that Pin, the video will resume from where you left off.
Promoted Videos on Pinterest can run for up to five minutes in length and advertisers will be able to choose which frames of the video are shown as users scroll by - or let Pinterest's in-house team choose for you.
According to Marketing Land, Pinterest will charge per impression, with advertisers paying for every thousand times the GIF-like previews are served in people's feeds (whether those people actually view the video or not).
"Pinterest will tell advertisers how many impressions of their ads were served, how many views their videos received - including breakouts for how many of those views completed 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% of the video - and how many clicks the featured pins generated."
It's a solid addition to the Pinterest advertising suite, putting a unique, Pinterest-specific spin on video content. Enabling brands to have their product Pins appear directly below the video is particularly important - as noted in the above video consumption stats, home projects and hair & beauty tutorials are among the most uploaded videos on the platform. Through this new option, brands will be able to capitalize on this by showing not only how people can do these things, but which of their products, specifically, are being used in their explainers.
As an example of the potential here, more than 43 million Pinners searched for the term "hair" specifically on Pinterest in 2015, while there were 670 million queries about hair and hair styles. Providing video and product matches aligned to those trends is great opportunity for Pinterest marketers.
For now, Promoted Video is only available to advertisers in the US and UK who are working with a Pinterest account team, though Pinterest is planning to eventually make Promoted Video ads available in all regions and through its self-serve ads platform (there's no time frame for a wider roll-out as yet). Promoted Video ads are also only available via mobile - 80% of Pinterest's traffic comes via mobile so they haven't made desktop a priority in the roll-out.
As noted in various research reports, the purchase intent of Pinners is higher than users on any other social platform, people come to the platform to shop and get inspiration about things to buy. To capitalize on this, and transform the platform into a multi-billion dollar machine, Pinterest needs to keep adding in new features and tools to help brands maximize the potential of the platform.
Promoted Videos seems like another clever step in the right direction.