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Pinterest Hires Ex-Shapchat Exec, Doubling Down on Measurement

Pinterest Business Dashboard | Credit: pinterest.com

As reported by Fortune and Business Insider, Pinterest announced today that it has hired former Snapchat advertising executive Gunnard Johnson as head of measurement science and insights. “Measurement Science and Insights” is a newly formed Pinterest team dedicated to enhancing the photo-collage social network’s ability to analyze audience insights, ad targeting and effectiveness.

As social media advertising increasingly comes to dominate digital marketing, advertisers expect social networks to be able to demonstrate the reach and value of their investments. Gunnard, an ad measurement veteran who had previously helped Google standardize metrics for YouTube advertising, was famously hired by Snapchat in March of this year to refine the ephemeral messaging platform’s analytics efforts.

Although Pinterest is known for its impact on e-commerce by allowing advertisers to link directly to online stores, the platform only reached the 100-million monthly active users mark in 2015. This is a milestone that Instagram, the image-based social network that, like Pinterest, was launched in 2010, reached three years ago. While other social networks have already built their video advertising offerings, Pinterest has not yet gone public with its video ad products. Given Google’s and Snapchat’s proven success with branded videos, Johnson brings expertise that is expected to help Pinterest support its coming rollout of video products with a robust suite of relevant analytics tools.

Commenting on his move to Pinterest in a Fortune interview, Johnson said he was attracted by “the people, the role and the company.” Starting on August 1, Johnson will report to Jon Kaplan, Pinterest’s head of global sales, with whom he had worked previously at Google.