Pinterest announced a deal with Getty Images on Friday that would provide more detailed information on the photos users pin on its site. The deal comes on the heels of news that Pinterest raised an additional $225 million in funding from current investors, placing the company's current valuation at an estimated $3.8 billon.
With additional funding secured, the company faces the challenge of making good on the valuation and implementing an advertising model with a significant return. Pinterest recently began moving toward paid advertising with its introduction of "promoted pins," and the partnership with Getty Images could be a step in a similar direction.
Through the partnership, Getty will provide information on the images that users pin, including the description, photographer, and date taken, and Pinterest will, in turn, pay Getty for all of the data they include alongside photos.
Pinterest's deal with Getty plays an important role in Pinterest's adoption of a paid advertisement business model—as Pinterest enters the realm of paid advertising, copyright infringements could become a problem for the image-heavy social network. "We're comfortable with people using our images to build traffic," Getty Images cofounder and CEO Jonathan Klein says. "But at the point in time when they have a business model, they have to have some sort of license." Pinterest's entry into a partnership with Getty will mitigate this issue.
Once the deal is finalized, Getty PicScout image-recognition technology will identify Getty images across Pinterest and link those images with Getty's metadata using its Connect API. Pinterest will also be able to use the metadata to suggest related pins, which the company hopes will ultimately create a stronger web of linked pins that will allow Pinterest to better monetize on the content with more tags to match relevant ads.
"One thing we've found is that the more we know about a pin, the more valuable we can make it for you," Michael Yamartino, a product manager at Pinterest, says. "That's why we've been working with partners to get more data into Pinterest to help us make recommendations, make pins more useful, and even offer notifications when prices drop."