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Pinterest, WhatsApp remind us that something has to pay for all these amazing services we consume

By , on May 19, 2015 at 4:01 pm

Looks like it’s upfront season for new social ad products.

Pinterest announced a new portfolio of ad products that are set to debut this summer that cover advertising scenarios across the marketing funnel:

What’s on Pinterest’s list? Quite a bit, including new “less obtrusive” video ads called Cinematic Pins, promoted pin targeting based on user intent (with some black-box-y tech behind that claim), cost-per-engagement pricing, app-install pins, and even rumblings of a self-serve advertising interface.

It’s quite a list, and it contains some very clear nods to where the money is flowing fastest for the large social networks: from app vendors and on mobile/ video scenarios.

Pinterest isn’t the only company with ad news. Facebook’s CFO told a set of conference attendees yesterday that ads might be coming to WhatsApp as well, in the form of sponsored messages:

“We think that enabling that B2C [business-to-consumer] messaging has good business potential for us,” Facebook Chief Financial Officer David Wehner explained on Monday at a tech conference in Boston. “As we learn those things, I think there’s going to be opportunities to bring some of those things to WhatsApp, but that’s more longer term.”

For $21.8 billion, one would hope that there would be some good business potential there.

What do all of these announcements have in common? They’re all familiar tactics in new packaging. Whether it’s new spins on video ads or promoted content, or something as simple as a dumbed-down marketing email in a messaging app, the general form is recognizable, even if the delivery scenario feels new and/ or unique.

And, of course, none of us should even feign surprise that each of these platforms are pursuing monetization plans; something needs to pay for all these amazing web services we all consume.

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Categories: Industry News