Pinterest Revenue Surge Stokes IPO Talk
Pinterest is a weird animal in the digital jungle. With over 200M monthly users it’s a hugely popular lifestyle site that combines user uploaded content and behavioral engagement by other users who “pin” the content they like, which then gets re-shared in a circular social loop. Given this unusual user flow, Pinterest’s monetization path hasn’t always been that clear. Are they a lifestyle content play? Maybe an on-platform search vehicle? Insights engine for agencies and their brands? Or how about a straight media play with wicked good behavioral retargeting capabilities?
As it turns out, the answer could be all the above. Over the past year Pinterest has been on a hiring spree to build up its sales team, and is forecasted to double its revenue YoY to almost $1B in 2018. As a result there’s speculation that Pinterest could finally go public, with an IPO anticipated for mid-2019. In order to get over the billion dollar mark Pinterest still needs to prove attribution – did user pins actually lead to an in-store or online purchase? Then there’s the issue of video ads. Pinterest still doesn’t run video, which is the cash cow for most other pubs. I’m guessing that the revenue pressure of going public will eventually make video ads a common occurrence on the platform.
Despite the patchwork ad strategy, Pinterest’s fortunes and chances for a successful IPO seem to be on the rise. Should be interesting to watch.