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Pinterest to Launch Live, Shoppable Streaming Videos

Steve Anderson

Pinterest is getting into the streaming game with a QVC-style platform. Those who want to see what a Pinterest Shopping Channel looks like will be able to see it for themselves when it goes live November 8.

Pinterest’s new plan, known as Pinterest TV, gives creators a new opportunity to make some money from their work. With Pinterest TV, those creators will be able to tag their products as being available for purchase. Pinterest then curates the various creators’ products and shows them off during airings of Pinterest TV.

The resulting episodes will be compiled and released weekdays, with users able to watch episodes pretty much on demand after their release. New episodes are set to arrive weekdays at 6:00 p.m. Eastern.

Not surprisingly, Pinterest will be turning to some of its biggest names to stock the series at first. On tap for the first few episodes including Christian Siriano, who was previously featured on “Project Runway,” as well as Tom Daley, an Olympic gold medalist in diving who also happens to be huge on knitting.

Pinterest has been working to accommodate shopping urges as part of its platform for years. The effort starts clear back in 2015, when the platform rolled out Buyable Pins. Three years later, the company moved to Product Pins, which were essentially direct links to retailers. Pinterest's own research suggests that the efforts to connect Pinterest and shopping have not been in vain; not only did 93% of Pinterest users turn to Pinterest to plan their upcoming purchases, 87% have actually made a purchase directly because they saw something on Pinterest that caught their eye.

Better yet, there’s more direct evidence of Pinterest’s value as a marketing tool. One shop, known as Flyaway Bluejay, turned to Buyable Pins for its marketing. The results were impressive; the main Flyaway Bluejay site saw traffic increase 28 percent thanks to Pinterest, and sales were up 20 percent. Every one of those sales was for completely new customers, making it pretty clear that Pinterest is, in some cases, driving sales for its users.

It’s not hard to appreciate this move; Pinterest is frantically trying to stay relevant as a social media platform and a marketing tool. This requires constant innovation. It will be interesting to see what happens when small-scale, Etsy-grade shops get the full Pinterest TV feature treatment. It might also make for some big new numbers for Pinterest proper as it taps new markets.

Still, the growth of Pinterest as marketing tool all but demands advances like this. We’ll see how it all turns out in about a week, and with the holiday shopping season coming up, every little bit is likely to help.

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