A Look At Pinterest’s Big Moves From This Week

Edition #26

Happy Friday! There’s a lot to cover, so let’s get right into it.

Today’s Edition:

  • Pinterest launches Idea Ads and announces a first-of-its-kind partnership with Tastemade

  • Over 1.5 billion monthly users are watching YouTube Shorts

  • Snapchat tests Spotlight Replies

Pinterest Launches Idea Ads & Announces A First-Of-Its-Kind Partnership With Tastemade

In the past week, Pinterest made two big moves that caught the attention of creators, brands, and consumers.

Idea Ads

First, it officially launched Idea Ads. In October, Pinterest shared that it was testing Idea Ads, a new ad format built off Idea Pins, the platform's Stories meet short-form video format. Fast forward to now, it's launched Idea Ads in over 30 countries worldwide.

Idea Ads enable brands to connect and inspire shoppers through immersive storytelling by combining videos and images, relevant information (e.g., ingredient or material lists), and a link.

Idea Ads With Paid Partnership

Along with Idea Ads, there are Idea Ads with Paid Partnership, which can be viewed as Pinterest's version of Instagram's Branded Content Ads and TikTok’s Spark Ads. Using a new Paid Partnership Tool, creators can disclose branded content and allow brands to amplify their content to a broader audience.

By building an ad format around Idea Pins, Pinterest makes the content format much more valuable because brands now have the option to scale creator content through paid media. Through Idea Ads, brands can get the right content in front of the right audiences through paid media targeting.

According to Pinterest, brands that work with creators see 38% higher brand awareness and 37% higher Pin awareness, so bringing creators into the mix for organic sponsored and paid content is a no-brainer.

Partnership With Tastemade

Second, it announced a first-of-its-kind, multi-million dollar partnership with media company Tastemade, aimed to scale creators, content series, and live streaming on Pinterest. The partnership will bring 50 new shoppable shows featuring creator talent from Pinterest and Tastemade across eight different languages and hundreds of hours of new live Pinterest TV programming. They will also host networking events, live creator activations, and training sessions to teach creators how to story-tell through video content.

Tastemade, which Pinterest says drives 200% more saves than the average Pin, is behind some of the most inspirational content on Pinterest and, therefore, is a fitting partner. While Tastemade is established in food, travel, and home decor, it will expand into other verticals like beauty, fashion, fitness, parenting, and pets, aligning with popular categories on Pinterest.

Pinterest being able to tap into Tastemade talent can enhance its own pool of homegrown creators. Pinterest has historically emphasized the value of Pinterest-first creators, but the addition of new, high-quality creators from Tastemade will add fresh new content that can attract new viewers.

Overall, teaming up with Tastemade helps Pinterest touch some of the biggest trends today — creators, video, and live shopping, all at scale.

Why This Matters

Pinterest is often overlooked when discussing the top destinations for creators and brands to connect. It doesn't offer instant gratification like Instagram, TikTok, or YouTube, so marketers hoping to make a big splash in a short period of time ignore it.

With Idea Ads combined with more resources and support for shoppable, video content through Tastemade, the company is strengthening its creator and content ecosystem. Both are vital to moving people from discovery to inspiration to purchase - something more brands are trying to achieve by partnering with creators.

Industry News

YouTube Shorts are seeing significant views. YouTube recently revealed that over 1.5 billion logged-in viewers every month are watching Shorts. Considering Shorts launched at the end of 2020, the amount of users that are engaging with the type of content is impressive. Since it only accounts for logged-in viewers, the amount of total viewers of Shorts is higher. Back in April, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai shared that Shorts were averaging more than 30 billion views per day, another impressive stat.

In less than two years, YouTube has built up another viable competitor to TikTok. YouTube does have a Creator Fund that encourages creators to share Shorts content like other social media platforms. However, many creators have found Shorts to be effective in helping to drive viewers to their long-form videos and overall subscriber growth, which has driven creators to pick up the format.

One difference between YouTube's approach to Shorts, compared to its competitors who also support short-form video, is that YouTube is not making it the core product of its platform. Rather, it’s positioning Shorts as a way for creators to reach new audiences and introduce them to their long-form video content, where they can connect with them on a deeper level through longer-form content.

Creators and viewers are already invested in Shorts. Given the recent testing of Shorts ads and shoppable Shorts, and how many users are engaging with Shorts content, brands will be next to get on board.

Thanks to the emergence of Shorts, there is an increasing amount of “multiformat creators” on YouTube, who are creators that create content across the platform’s various formats including video-on-demand, live streams, and short-form video. This creates the opportunity for brands to start to run branded content campaigns, where they work with creators to share sponsored content across all of YouTube’s formats and repeat the benefits of each.

Snapchat is testing a Spotlight Replies feature. The feature allows users to reply directly to videos in Spotlight by creators. Currently, users can only leave text-only replies, and links will not be allowed. Snapchat will also use artificial intelligence to moderate replies before they are sent to creators to remove any hateful or vulgar responses. For replies that make it through to creators, they can decide whether to accept or reject replies and whether or not they want to make replies public, as they are private by default.

Spotlight Replies is currently being tested in New Zealand but will expand to more markets over the next few months.

As Snapchat's answer to TikTok and Instagram Reels, Spotlight has been one of the main reasons creators spend time on the app. However, it has lacked a key feature, the capability to allow users to comment on these short-form videos. As TikTok and Instagram have shown, comments play a key role in building a community around the format, making it a valuable feature.

Snap, which does not allow public comments or replies on friends' Stories, is taking a thoughtful approach with Spotlight Replies by giving creators control. Fortunately for Snapchat, it has had limited issues around hateful comments compared to other platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube. Through Spotlight Replies, Snap finds a balance between supporting a highly requested feature by creators and keeping an environment low on harassment and hateful behavior.

Twitch is expanding its Ad Incentive Program (AIP). The streaming service is making some updates just months after launching the program, which rewards creators with flat-rate incentives for streaming for a certain number of hours while running ads on the streams.

It's opening up the program to include more Twitch Partners and Affiliates. It's also upping its ad pay rate. Previously, streamers were paid on a fixed CPM, giving streamers a flat rate for every 1,000 views. Now, it's moving to a percentage-based model where creators will earn 55% of revenue for ads run on their streams, which it says will result in a 50-150% increase in ad pay rate.

Twitch also says that Twitch Affiliates who opt-in to three minutes of ads per hour will be able to remove pre-rolls and receive increased ad payouts.

As a result of Twitch's upgrades to the AIP, more creators will be able to earn a reliable income at a higher pay rate. However, not all creators find this appealing. According to tweets from creators about the announcement, many of them are conflicted. While some view AIP as a way to earn money, some believe that ads are disruptive since they can interrupt conversations and key moments and are repetitive, and as a result, often lead to a drop in viewership. Some creators prefer that the platform give them higher splits on other monetization tools like Subscriptions.

Since AIP is optional, creators can choose what works for them best. For example, ads may benefit larger, more popular streamers with audiences willing to sit through three minutes of ads to watch them over smaller, upcoming streamers that are still trying to build their audience and convince people to tune in.

Discord launched a new moderation tool called AutoMod. The tool is a system of content filters that help make it easier for moderators to moderate their communities. In addition to ready-made lists of words and phrases, moderators can set custom keyword filters to automatically detect, block, and alert them of messages containing harmful words or phrases before they are posted to the server. Additionally, moderators have the option of having users who post harmful words or phrases get timed out automatically, which blocks them from posting until a moderator is available. In the future, there will be the ability for AutoMod to detect and block harmful links, spam, and malware.

AutoMod comes from feedback received by moderators, who often spend a great deal of time having to "police" their communities as opposed to being able to grow their communities.

Discord is also expanding its Premium Memberships feature to more U.S.-based communities and adding new functionalities, including an analytics dashboard, free trials, and support for custom server emojis.

These updates touch on two recent areas of focus for Discord, in content moderation and creator monetization. Through AutoMod and Premium Memberships, Discord creators make sure their communities are safer and can get rewarded by their communities through premium subscriptions.

Acast and Spring announced a new partnership to help podcasters monetize. Thousands of Acast podcasters will soon be able to take advantage of Spring's robust commerce creator solutions, which include creating, promoting, and selling physical and digital products such as merchandise and NFTs.

The announcement comes a few months after the two launched a pilot program with 11 popular podcasters. As part of the pilot, they developed their own Spring merchandise lines and stores and had access to Spring's custom analytics dashboard, educational resources, and support channels. Since the program began, nearly 1,000 products have been sold. After the pilot's conclusion, Acast and Spring will build additional features to enhance the creator experience across their platforms and increase opportunities for podcasters to monetize.

The partnership brings good news to the podcasting community. Today, most podcasters who make money off their shows do so through advertising such as ad reads and pay-walled content through subscriptions. Now, more podcasters can easily expand their revenue streams by adding the selling of products into the mix.

Spring, which has a proven track record of helping creators monetize across Instagram, Twitch, YouTube, TikTok, and other channels, has become a go-to platform for creators to set up shops and sell directly to their fans. Spring's existing partnerships and integrations can be taken as an indication of what's to come, which looks like a step forward in Acast and Spring's joint vision of helping creators succeed.

What I’m Reading

  • Is influencer advertising the ‘scapegoat’ traditional media needs? (The Drum)

  • Creator economy insiders pick their 12 favorite podcasts that help them understand where the industry is heading (Business Insider)

  • TikTok exec: We’re not a social network like Facebook, we’re an entertainment platform (CNBC)

  • The next big social platform is…the smartphone’s homescreen (TechCrunch)

  • Influencer marketing has a location scouting problem. The Scout App wants to change that (Marketing Brew)