Over the years, social media has evolved from being simply a social network to becoming a powerful marketing tool. Many of the social media giants have already monetized their platforms with paid advertising and promoted content.

Pinterest and Instagram Roll Out New Marketing Features for Brands

This “pay for play” option has allowed brands to further engage with their audience while running measurable campaigns. Pinterest and Instagram are the latest to add marketing features for brands, providing the ability to target users and prompt them to take action on the content that they see.

Pinterest Launches Buyable Pins

Previously, users were restricted to a ‘window shopping’ experience on Pinterest, but not anymore! Pinterest is launching “Buyable Pins” towards the end of June 2015 on the iPhone and iPad.

After Pinterest identified the demand, they saw an opportunity give their users what they wanted. With Buyable Pins, Pinterest is transitioning into a digital marketplace that is backed by data and driven through user experience. With this new feature, users will be able to buy products from brands directly on Pinterest without having to visit their websites to make the purchases.

How it will work

In addition to the red “Pin it” button, there will now be blue “Buy it” pins that will allow users to buy items directly through Pinterest. It’s been estimated that by the end of the first month there will be more than 2 million Buyable Pins on Pinterest. This means that users can buy something when they want to, rather than being burdened with tracking the product down online. Buyable Pins are designed to work seamlessly on mobile devices with secure payment through either Apple Pay or credit cards.

Here’s a video to show how the buyable pins will work:

Instagram Launches Actionable Buttons

Instagram recently announced additional features that will focus on “empowering people and advertisers to do more” in order to drive results that accommodate a variety of business objectives.

With a platform that is able to utilize Facebook’s ad technology, users will soon see more relevant offerings through advanced targeting methods that are not only based on gender and age, but also on interests. The technology behind the automated advertising process gives marketers the ability to clearly manage their campaigns and efficiently track their efforts.

Additionally, Instagram will incorporate actionable buttons that allow users to further engage with a brand’s content. As shown in the screenshots below, the buttons will be located at the bottom of a post and will prompt users to “Shop Now”, “Install Now”, “Sign Up”, or “Learn More”.


While Instagram received some negative feedback from users when advertisements first appeared in 2013, the company still saw a future for monetizing this social media platform. With this new feature, Instagram will focus on displaying commercial content that aesthetically blends into the user’s experience.

Users are now being presented with the opportunity to take further action upon the content they see on Pinterest and Instagram. They’re no longer social galleries; they are marketplaces with an astonishing amount of data that presents users with calculated suggestions on what they may like to learn more about or what they may like to buy.