Pinterest plans to categorise user interests for advertisers to help boost targeted ads

Social network Pinterest is set to serve up more user data to advertisers in a bid to further monetise site activity and user engagements.

The discovery based-website has announced its intent to up its ad game by providing a richer tapestry of user details to brands and advertisers while also pre-empting search engines by becoming the go-to place for product discovery.

The company’s head of operations, Don Faul, said at AdExchanger’s Industry Preview event in New York City, according to the Wall Street Journal: “The focus this year is on unlocking the potential of our intent data,” claiming the firm deliver ads based on users' pinned items.

“Pinterest is not a traditional user-generated content platform; it’s a place where people are coming to discover new businesses, new brands and new products. Our users are expressing their future intent. It’s not the shoes they bought last week, or where they went on vacation six months ago,” Faul said taking a swipe at other social networks which rely upon already purchased items for targeted ads.

Users’ hobbies and categorical viewing patterns will be of particular interest to brands offering products within that niche for example, he added.

Nate Elliott of Forrester Research, said: “Pinterest’s marketing value lies more in the future than in the present. By 2016, Pinterest’s ad offering could trump that of other social sites — but today, most brands struggle to successfully use it as a marketing tool.

“We’re encouraging marketers to put limited resources into Pinterest right now. Once the site broadens its targeting capabilities, though, it’ll be time to spend.”

A Pinterest spokesperson told The Drum: "We currently allow advertisers to target people who have expressed interest in topic by searching or visiting a category feed, such as Home Decor.

"As part of our focus this year, we will be offering additional targeting options to advertisers. For example, in the future an advertiser could target 'outdoor enthusiasts' which is a group of users based on their interest on outdoor activities. We will not share individual user data with advertisers."

The site was founded by Ben Silbermann, Evan Sharp and Paul Sciarra in March 2010

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