Weekly Digital News Roundup: September 20-24

Pinterest Announces First Ad Product: Promoted Pins

  • 32f4e2dce13c0b983003eaa10efea6a5According to Mashable, it’s been a long time coming: Pinterest, the heavily funded, 3 year-old image and video-sharing network, announced Thursday that it is going to begin experimenting with paid advertising. The product is called “promoted pins,” and it borrows from Twitter’s and Facebook’s ad products of the same name. Essentially, businesses will be able to pay to show certain pins at the top of search results and category feeds.
  • In a blog post announcing the product, Pinterest founder and CEO Ben Silbermann promised the ads would be “tasteful” and “transparent.” There will be no “flashy banners” or pop-up ads, he wrote, and the site will clearly differentiate sponsored and organic pins. They’ll also aim for relevancy: A search for “Halloween” might produce a pin of an outfit from an online costume shop.
  • Pinterest has investors — who have put in $338 million into the company — to pay back, and a $2.5 billion valuation to justify. With such a large audience base, advertising is an obvious place for Pinterest to seek out revenue.  Continue reading

Weekly Digital News Roundup: September 13-17

Instagram Plans to Introduce Ads within the Next Year 

  • instagram-cropWrites Mashable, Instagram plans to introduce ads in the next year, according to a new report. The Wall Street Journal spoke with Emily White, Instagram’s director of business operations, who revealed that the photo and video-sharing service is laying the groundwork to begin selling ads within the year. “We want to make money in the long term, but we don’t have any short-term pressure,” she said.
  • Facebook, which acquired Instagram in 2012 for roughly $750 million, has previously teased the idea of introducing ads on Instagram to justify its investment, but never with a firm timeline. “Kevin [Systrom] has always been clear that we’re building Instagram to be a business and that we expect that over time we’re going to generate a lot of profit from it and probably through advertising,” Facebook’s cofounder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said during the company’s second quarter earnings call in July.
  • Instagram announced Sunday that it hit 150 million monthly active users, up from 100 million in February and from 30 million when Facebook first announced the acquisition in April of last year. Until this point, Facebook and Instagram have largely been focused on growing that user base, but sooner or later the focus shifts to monetizing it. It’s starting to sound like sooner. Continue reading

Weekly Digital News Roundup: September 6-10

Google Launches AdWords Conversion Import Feature

  • Google_logo_transparent 1According to WebProNews, Google announced a new “conversion import” feature for AdWords [this week], aimed at making it easier for advertisers to measure and optimize events that happen away from their sites. The company says the feature can help small businesses measure and optimize for the customer’s entire journey from online leads to offline sales.
  • “In AdWords, you’ve been able to see which keywords lead to higher or lower lead volumes, and to optimize for a cost per lead goal,” says product management lead Jon Diorio. “But there’s been no easy way to measure and optimize in AdWords for events that happen beyond the website, like a customer order taken over the phone by your sales team.”
  • “The new AdWords conversion import feature can help you measure and optimize for the complete end-to-end purchase process,” says Diorio. “Now you can upload your offline conversion events into AdWords and see how clicks on your ads led to sales made in the offline world such as over the phone or via a sales rep.” Google says there are more features aimed at helping advertisers measure customers’ paths to purchase on the way. Continue reading
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