Pinterest aims for products from the store down your street as its next big ad business

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Pinterest is known for having, and promoting, a lot of business content. It’s actually a majority of the content, and it’s usually from some of the most well-known brands that feed into the kinds of sometimes dream-level wants and needs of its users.

And while a majority of Pinterest’s potential is locked up there, the company has increasingly turned its gaze toward smaller and smaller businesses to try to entice users with local content — including that clothing store right down your street. That’s part of the reasoning behind Pinterest’s Propel program, which it started a year ago to work with small businesses that really either didn’t know what they were doing, or had just never done it before. In another step toward that goal, Pinterest has hired Matt Hogle to be the global head of small business.

Hogle spent 9 years at Facebook, working with small businesses and will be part of the effort for the company to try to find the right set of tools and strategies in place to appeal to small businesses as it starts to ramp it into a significant portion of its revenue. The number of small businesses advertisers on Pinterest has increased by around 50% year-over-year, the company said, and it looks to continue to refine a kind of hybrid strategy that mixes platforms and interactions with real people in order to entice those businesses. That’s important for, say, a local clothing store that only has one store and a limited online shop, but has products that would perform well on their own as content on Pinterest — and could quickly add revenue if they started advertising on it.

“We, as an ads business, know what customers’ business objectives are, and we capture that at the early stages,” Pinterest head of global sales Jon Kaplan said. “We know what they’re targeting, how they’re targeting, who, and we know the creative best practices. We should be able in the very near future to take all these elements and say, oh this is your objective, we’ll obfuscate all this complexity and hit a target [return on ad spend] you have. We’re not far. We’ve obfuscated a lot of the levers one can pull in Propel.”

Propel, for now, is adopting an increasingly popular human/digital approach for smaller businesses that are looking to advertise for the first time on Pinterest. If they have no experience whatsoever, or don’t even know what to do, Pinterest’s goal is to serve as a resource for best practices when it comes to creative content down to where to target it. Pinterest is increasingly rolling out more self-serve tools with more robust targeting and tracking, but the kind of small businesses — the sum of which could eventually account for a big chunk of its revenue — that Facebook has snapped up with the prospect of getting in front of the exact right people at the right time. The company says it will be rolling out the “promote” button, which allows advertisers to click a button on a pin to quickly spin up a campaign, to Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and the UK in the next coming weeks.

In the end, Pinterest still has 200 million monthly active users, which is absolutely dwarfed by Facebook’s billions of users. But at the same time, Pinterest may be able to capitalize on the good will that Facebook has torched in light of its massive privacy scandal in which information on as many as 87 million users ended up in the hands of a research firm without authorization or permission. Facebook can prove a return on spend, but it can’t at the moment prove that it’ll be able to keep doing the same things that get that return on spend now that the Internet is revolting against Facebook for its massive breach of trust. (Hogle, to be clear, joined before details on the Cambridge Analytica scandal began pouring in.)

Pinterest’s value to advertisers is that it’s able to capture a potential customer when they are just a user clicking (or tapping) around Pinterest looking for ideas. Whether planning life events or just looking for wardrobe suggestions, Pinterest is able to go to advertisers and say they can catch them in those discovery stages and then stick the right ad in front of them to get their attention. Then, the service can follow the user all the way from when they are actually interested in doing something, searching for what to do, and eventually saving that product — or buying it.

It’s that potential value for advertisers that’s taken it to a $ 12.5 billion valuation in its most recent financing round. But while Pinterest is probably still a sort of curiosity buy for larger advertisers and brands, the challenge has been to chase down the businesses that don’t have huge marketing budgets and might not even be considering Pinterest as a potential advertising platform. After all, the playbook for Facebook is robust and there are plenty of success stories, and the same is true for Google. But at the same time, that bespoke coffee shop down on Valencia Street in San Francisco may have products that line up perfectly for a Pinterest user that’s looking for a holiday gift down the line.

“Over the coming nine months, into 2019, I think we’re gonna continue to invest in ways that make it easy for our small businesses to grow with us,” Hogle said. “Small businesses are unique in the sense that they don’t have the time or energy or resources — the CEO might also be the HR person and the marketing person, and so on. We need to make it extremely lightweight and seamless. At the end of the day, if we can’t provide value and deliver on the money they spend with us and demonstrate the value that’s created there — sales being that number one performance indicator for these companies — then we’re failing. The things we’re gonna continue to build are ways to make that process as easy and seamless.”

“Small businesses add disproportionate value to Pinners and our ad ecosystem,” Hogle said. “I truly believe that small businesses are part of the fabric of every community, they’re the engine that drives every economy around the world. Their relevancy, category or vertical, or proximity to consumers creates disproportionate organic value to Pinners and also creates disproportionate commercial value. Our goal is to show the people the most relevant ad they possibly can based on what they’re trying to accomplish. We can’t do that if we do not meet the needs of the vast majority of businesses that exist. It is a strategic decision, but it’s not just one that goes into paid ads, it creates disproportionate value for the entire platform and ecosystem.”

Hogle’s conversations started mid last year with Tim Kendall, Pinterest’s former president who left in November last year. What started as an exchange of ideas turned, as these conversations often do, it discussions about a potential job at Pinterest, and finally months later he ended up joining to start helping with the company’s small business efforts. Pinterest is increasingly looking to staff up with a suite of executives that will help it get its business in order ahead of a potential IPO. That includes a new COO, Francoise Brougher, who joined in February from Square.

But if Pinterest is going to eventually go public, and get its employees and investors paid out for their efforts, it needs to show that it can be a business that’s beyond just a curiosity budget for a big brand. Getting small businesses on board, like the ones Hogle looks to capture that are right down the street, are a big part of what the company hopes will eventually show that it has a diversified revenue stream and not beholden to just the big and potentially fickle budgets of larger brands.

“Our ad platform is not very old by industry standards, but the rate of development on our self serve tools and the rate of development on interfaces for our small customers is moving at a pace where I’m really pleased,” Hogle said. “The ability to carve out opportunity for advertisers is something that’s moving really quickly. Is it where it needs to be long term, of course not, but we’re gonna continue to invest. One of the reasons I joined was it was very clear to me that small businesses were a priority. We are going to invest in products and we’re also going to invest in educational programs. We’re gonna invest and provide the necessary resources.”

Mobile – TechCrunch

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Quick Takes: WebKit Team Teases ‘Cool New Apple Products’ as Rumors Persist About Red iPhones

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In addition to our standalone articles covering the latest news and rumors at MacRumors, this Quick Takes column provides a bite-sized recap of other headlines about Apple and its competitors on weekdays.

Monday, April 2

  • WebKit’s verified Twitter account teases “cool new Apple products” in the pipeline: WebKit is the open source web browser engine used by Safari on macOS and iOS, so the tweet from the Apple-owned account could be referring to a wide range of different products.

  • What Apple’s education announcements mean for accessibility: Accessibility expert and former special educator Steven Aquino believes that an iPad is far superior to a Chromebook in many levels of special education. Nevertheless, he feels there is enormous potential for Apple to go further. For example, he says Apple could broaden its new Schoolwork app to incorporate Individualized Education Programs.
  • Red-colored iPhones may still be coming: On March 21, 2017, Apple unveiled a special (PRODUCT)RED edition of the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Rumor has it Apple may do so again this year with the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and/or iPhone X at some point this month.

  • macOS 10.13.4 and external displays with DisplayLink software aren’t playing friendly: In the meantime, DisplayLink has released a new version 4.3 driver that will enable clone mode, but not mirror or extended mode displays on macOS 10.13.4. The notice from DisplayLink’s website:

    We have become aware that installing macOS release version 10.13.4 will cause DisplayLink connected displays to go blank after the OS upgrade, with the current DisplayLink driver [4.1] installed. Functionality such as Ethernet and audio, where implemented, is unaffected. We have alerted Apple to this issue and are working hard to find a resolution. These features continue to work as expected in macOS 10.13.3.

  • Chrome Remote Desktop and apps optimized for iPhone X display: The updates are available from the App Store. The wait continues for a handful of other popular apps, including Inbox by Gmail, Google Authenticator, iMovie, and Amazon Alexa.

For more coverage of Apple, visit our Front Page, Mac Blog, and iOS Blog. Also head to our forums to join in the discussion.

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MacRumors: Mac News and Rumors – All Stories

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Consumers prefer experiences over products, but what about personalization?

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

The Adobe Summit is currently underway in Las Vegas, and 13,000 attendees received the message that we are now buying experiences rather than products and that consumers prefer a personalized experience. However, with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) legislation on the horizon, combined with an increasing suspicion of any brand that creepily uses our data, some might argue the news is a little too close for comfort to the recent Facebook controversy. Ironically, it seems many of us have a love/hate relationship with personalization. On the one hand, some will find their personal data being used as a marketing…

This story continues at The Next Web
The Next Web

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Giveaway: Enter to win 1 of 4 Speck bundles filled with products to protect your Apple devices

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Article Image

To kick off Apple’s education event, Speck is giving away four bundles filled with cases and covers to protect your favorite Apple devices. Enter today for your chance to win a backpack, MacBook Pro case, iPhone cover and iPad folio. Four winners will each receive a package valued at over $ 200.
AppleInsider – Frontpage News

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AR app solves life’s greatest mystery: How to assemble Ikea products

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Augmented reality is still waiting on its “killer app,” but a new demo from Toronto designer Adam Pickard shows off a use-case we could likely all get on board with: turning paper Ikea manuals into animated demonstrations. For anyone who has ever looked, with growing bafflement, at the blueprints for assembling their coffee table or […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)

Cult of Mac

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Recode Daily: Trump orders tariffs on $60 billion of Chinese-made goods — mostly tech products

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President Donald Trump holds up a signed presidential memorandum aimed at what he calls Chinese economic aggression in the Roosevelt Room at the White House on March 22, 2018, in Washington, D.C.

Plus, Jack Dorsey predicts that bitcoin will become the world’s universal currency; Dropbox goes public today at $ 21 per share; delete these apps and return to a simpler way of life.

Trump is aiming at China, with plan to impose tariffs on about $ 60 billion worth of Chinese-made goods. The proposed list of some 1,300 products, which will be released within two weeks, will mostly focus on tech, and would effectively block the Chinese imports from entering the U.S. Trump also appointed John Bolton, a China hawk, as his new national security adviser. Wall Street is jittery: The Dow closed down more than 700 points. [Adam Behsudi / Politico]

[Want to get the Recode Daily in your inbox? Subscribe here.]

Dropbox IPOs today on Nasdaq under the trading name DBX at an above-expectations $ 21 per share. Dropbox, which waited a decade to go public, will have an initial maket cap of $ 8.3 billion — significantly less than the company’s last private valuation of $ 10 billion. How the company fares in its first few quarters should give some indication on how highly valued private tech companies can fare on public markets in 2018. Here’s how Dropbox’s biggest backer — venture capital firm Sequoia — positioned itself to earn between $ 2 billion and $ 3 billion on its initial investment. [Theodore Schleifer / Recode]

Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey predicted that bitcoin will become the universal world currency in about 10 years. Square now allows the buying and selling of bitcoin on its payment app. Bitcoin is now trading around $ 9,000, down from the peak of $ 20,000 it hit on some exchanges in December. [Lucinda Shen / Fortune]

The music business had its second consecutive year of growth — thanks to streaming. Flat used to be the new up for the music labels. Now they’re up for real — sales increased 14 percent to $ 8.7 billion last year. The industry’s significant leap in revenue is due entirely to streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music, which are more than balancing the decline in CD sales and download sales. [Peter Kafka and Rani Molla / Recode]

David Scott’s gun-loving friends were kicked off Facebook. So he started Gunbook. The British gun enthusiast started his version of the site three weeks ago, and says the “social network for shooters” already has more than 1,000 members, around 60 of whom are from the U.S. Facebook has banned all advertisements for guns; YouTube announced this week that it will ban videos promoting the sale or manufacture of firearms. [Emily Dugan and Mark Di Stefano / BuzzFeed News]

Top stories from Recode

ModCloth’s former CEO Matt Kaness has left Walmart just a year after the acquisition.

The former Urban Outfitters executive’s role had been in question for several months.

WeWork’s massive growth has made it the second-biggest private office tenant in Manhattan.

It started out with a single SoHo building in 2010.

More than 80 percent of women in tech say they feel pressure to return early from parental leave.

Nearly a third worry about losing their jobs, according to a new report from Indeed.

Scooter-sharing startup Bird has hired former Lyft executive David Estrada to be its chief legal officer.

Estrada also briefly worked at Kitty Hawk; before Lyft, he was the legal director at Google X.

Facebook and Cambridge Analytica: What just happened?

On the latest episode of Too Embarrassed to Ask, Recode’s Kurt Wagner and Kara Swisher, with The Verge’s Lauren Goode, explain the company’s user-data debacle — and what might happen next.

This is cool

Delete these iPhone apps and return to a simpler way of life.

Recode – All

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Nest Builds More Security, Flexibility Into Smart Home Products

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The Nest Hello video doorbell and the Nest x Yale Lock are now available, along with a new Nest Temperature Sensor — the latest addition to the company’s smart home lineup. Owners of the Hello video doorbell can use the Nest app for iOS or Android to see and converse with people without opening their door. The x Yale Lock — a tamper-proof, key-free deadbolt — also connects with the Nest app, allowing users to lock and unlock their door from anywhere. The Temperature Sensor works with Nest’s smart thermostats.
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Will Apple Announce New Products at Its Education-Focused Keynote?

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Apple announced this week via media invitations that it will hold an education-focused keynote event at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, March 27 at Lane Tech College Prep High School in Chicago. Apple sent out press invites on Friday, including one to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. The invites, titled “let’s take a field trip,” claim that the […]
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Some Toys ‘R’ Us Stores Are Offering Deep Discounts on Apple Products

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

All 735 Toys ‘R’ Us retail stores across the country will be shuttering their doors soon, as the toy-giant is sadly the latest victim of America’s ongoing retail apocalypse. Not all is bad news in toy-town though, especially if you’re a fan of heavily discounted Apple products. According to multiple Reddit users who’ve lucked out […]
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