Marketing Brand Strategy Social Media

Pinterest is wooing advertisers with its new features. Here’s how they work


By Hannah Bowler | Senior Reporter

September 15, 2023 | 6 min read

The image-sharing app is in the middle of its biggest-ever push to win over the hearts and minds of users and advertisers and recently unveiled a suite of new features and ad formats. But how can they be used?

How brands can use Pinterest's new shiny features

How brands can use Pinterest's new shiny features

Over the years, Pinterest has morphed far beyond its mood board origins to become an e-commerce and advertising platform that rivals some of the biggest. The user-centric search engine gives shoppers a premium visual experience that results in high conversion rates for brands and has helped to transform online shopping.

The platform currently boasts 456 million monthly active users and around 60% of them are female, but the male demographic is growing with the site seeing a 40% uplift year-on-year in 2022.

Speaking at Pinterest’s annual advertiser summit, its chief revenue officer Bill Watkins said: “We are innovating faster than ever before with a robust slate of relevant, personalized products to reach consumers with intent and we’re building with the goal to be the industry’s best full-funnel solution.”

Ad formats

  • Premiere Spotlight on search and home feed: Brands can now buy exclusive placements on Pinterest’s search and home feed to promote campaigns. It’s an edge-to-edge video placement that takes up around half of a mobile screen. It works best for product launches or bigger brand awareness moments.

  • Showcase ads: An interactive ad solution that allows users to preview and explore a brand’s content by swiping through branded images and discovering things like seasonal looks, recipe books or a car’s features. Showcase ads are a good format for launches and big awareness moments brands can actually plan out reserved dates and priority placements for their campaign to feature in it.

  • Quiz ads: Brands can create quizzes that can lead users to more personalized ideas, helping them to make a purchase decision. Offering up to three questions per quiz, it guides users to a personalized product suggestion.

  • Creative Studio: This tool gives brands a quick way to generate lifestyle imagery for product Pins. Brands can add a Pin link and then select prompts and Creative Studio will then generate a selection of custom background images.

Quiz Ads

Elf Cosmetics

The make-up brand took out a Premiere Spotlight placement to target Gen Z and Millennials with its Lash ’N Roll product launch. Premiere Spotlight ads ran at the top of the Pinterest search page, reaching people while they were in discovery mode.

After the initial Premiere Spotlight launch moment, Elf ran an additional six weeks of video ads on Pinterest using a standard feed placement and re-targeted people who had seen the initial Spotlight. The ads linked straight to the Lash ’N Roll product landing page so that people could try and buy at the point of seeing the ad.

The campaign had a 13% higher video view rate than the Media Rating Council’s typical baseline for Gen Z consumers and the brand saw an 11% improvement in video completion rates compared with other Pinterest advertising.


Retailers have been excited by its mix of curation, AI distribution and shopability, it is finding its place in the retail media boom, most recently partnering with supermarket Tesco.

Shopping is now considered a core experience on the platform, with 55% of Pinterest users thinking of Pinterest as a place to shop.

  • Mobile deep links and direct links: Mobile deep links direct users to a specific page in a retailer’s mobile app, making it easier to shop for products after clicking on a shopping ad. Direct links take people from a Pinterest ad to a retailer’s website with just one click, reducing the steps it takes for users to go from discovering a product to checkout.

  • E-commerce Integrations: Pinterest has expanded its integration by adding Salesforce Commerce Cloud and Adobe Commerce applications to all monetized marketplaces. The integrations allow retailers to manage their Pinterest product catalogs and set them up directly within the applications they already use for Salesforce or Adobe.

Other updates

For agencies, Pinterest has improved its automated business tools to help manage their clients’ presence on Pinterest. This includes Pinterest’s Business Manager, a tool for advertisers that helps them efficiently automate complex work streams.

For users, there have been changes to the collage making where users can now cut objects out of a Pin and combine them with other cutouts to create interactive collages of their favorite ideas.

Brands can also update their catalogs so users can add their products to collages. This means brands can showcase multiple shoppable products within one image. It is in early testing and will be rolled out soon.

“We’ve made Pinterest more measurable from first impression to last click and we’re excited to share more about our new products that span the consumer journey, all in a more positive place online,” Watkins concluded.

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