SAN FRANCISCO: Video is set to become a "core part" of the Pinterest user experience, as the image-sharing site follows the route of other social platforms and introduces a Promoted Video ad product to sit alongside its existing Promoted Pins.

"This is a focused effort from the company to make a much bigger bet on video," said Jon Kaplan, head of global sales at Pinterest.

"Things are going to change pretty dramatically in the coming quarters as we get more serious on the core user experience, ingest much more video content than we've ever done before and by making video much more discoverable on the platform," he added.

The new ad product – users will have to click on it to play it in full – also ties into social-commerce, with advertisers able to show Buyable Pins beneath videos as they play, Advertising Age reported.

Previous research has shown that Promoted Pin campaigns can drive five times more incremental in-store sales per impression.

Pinterest has tested the new product with 12 partners, including Old El Paso, the General Mills-owned food brand, which ran a 30-second video on how to make mini churro taco boats and reported that more people than expected had watched it to the end.

"This is just one video so we can only draw so much from it, but we were excited to see that people were engaging and spending time with the pin differentially," Michelle La Berge, senior marketing manager at Old El Paso, told the Wall Street Journal.

Brands will have to consider whether they to need to produce yet more bespoke material for yet another site.

"It is not just necessarily bringing TV advertising to the platform, but if you are customising for YouTube or Snapchat, it at least makes sense to bring it to Pinterest, if not customise for Pinterest as well," Kaplan said.

Pinterest is also keen to attract content from publishers and media companies. YouTube, for example, is now the most popular site pinned to users' boards, with the number of video pins having risen 60% over the past year, according to the Financial Times.

Data sourced from Advertising Age, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times; additional content by Warc staff