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Why Pinterest has a chance to 'break the advertising duopoly of Google and Facebook'

Marina Peña
Production assistant

Even though Pinterest (PINS) lowered its outlook after its first earnings report, some believe the digital scrapbooking company has the potential to incredibly disruptive.

“There are some investors who think that maybe Pinterest can break the digital advertising duopoly of Google and Facebook,” says Tom Forte, an analyst at D.A. Davidson.

Forte explained that the way Pinterest presents its ads is what makes the company a potentially lucrative investment.

“The ads on Pinterest are very contextual to the extent that they’re visual,” he told Yahoo Finance’s yFI AM. “So I would argue that when you compare Pinterest with Facebook and other social networks, it’s a superior — potentially — platform for advertising because I think it’s contextual and welcomed by the consumer rather than a distraction or not something that’s enjoyable.”

Forte added that advertising on Pinterest is key for companies like Wayfair because it’s meant for consumers that are much earlier in the decision-making process.

So Pinterest’s advertising model, according to Forte, is exactly what could lead to their profitability.

An ad on Pinterest. (Source: Pinterest)

“Unlike Uber, which is heavily dependent on transaction revenue, for both Roku and Pinterest, you’re looking at high margin advertising revenue,” he said. “While today they’re losing money, it’s easy to see them in the future generating cash flow and being profitable because their core business model is advertising.”

But if they want to perform well over time, Forte argued Pinterest is going to need to monetize their international audience seeing as it makes up the majority of the company’s users, but not of their revenue.

Pinterest’s international monthly active users increased from 160 million users in Q1 of 2018 to 206 million in Q1 of 2019 and revenue grew 114% to $15 million.

“The big story and what will determine how the shares perform over time,” Forte said, “is how well they monetize their international audience — which i do think will be challenging.”

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