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Pinterest to start advertising on its site with promoted pins

Tim Gibbon (Social Media Portal (SMP)) - 20 September 2013

Pinboard and photo-sharing service Pinterest to reveal promoted pins ads
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Events, interests and hobby pinning site Pinterest to experiment with advertising and promoted content models



Pinterest, the socially driven pinboard is to begin testing promoted pins in search results and category feeds as it seeks create advertising revenue.

Pinterest logoIn a blog post and via email, Ben Silbermann, CEO & co-founder shares Pinterest's imminent plans whilst talking lovingly about his baby son, “We’re going to start experimenting with promoting certain pins from a select group of businesses.
I know some of you may be thinking, Oh great…here come the banner ads. But we’re determined to not let that happen.”

Silbermann is upfront, asking for feedback, as the site will trial ads stating that they haven’t all the answers for site yet, but claims promoted pins will be:

—Tasteful. No flashy banners or pop-up ads.

—Transparent. We’ll always let you know if someone paid for what you see, or where you see it.

—Relevant. These pins should be about stuff you’re actually interested in, like a delicious recipe, or a jacket that’s your style.

—Improved based on your feedback. Keep letting us know what you think, and we’ll keep working to make things better.


The announcement gives the impression that promoted content approach isn’t far away in which we’re given a taster of what Pinterest may serve.  Silbermann explains how the ads may work in its search and category feeds from a chosen few businesses, “For example, a pin for a Darth Vader outfit from a costume shop might be promoted in a search for “halloween.” Nobody’s paying for anything yet—we want to see how things go and, more than anything, hear what you think.”

Pinterest enters a competitive promoted content space with services such as Facebook and Twitter being alternatives for brands to advertise, particularly as traditional online advertising needs to evolve. Technology company Google has claimed from the outset that advertising is not a goal for it’s social network Google+, but time will tell if this continues to remain the case as advertisers seek expand their options.

Pinterest Planning for the future blog post image

Figures on Pinterest’s user base appear to be conflicting with Semiocast, the Paris-based social media research firm estimating in July that it currently has over 70 million users and that 45 percent of new users that registered in June 2013 were from outside the US.  However, the FT reports that the company’s product has gained fans with user numbers rising to 46m in July, according to ComScore. It also states writes that Pinterest has become a Silicon Valley favourite, obtaining a valuation of $2.5bn after a $200m fundraising round.

Pinterest launched in March 2010 under closed invite-only beta after development began in late 2009. Founded by Ben Silbermann, Paul Sciarra and Evan Sharp. It is managed by Cold Brew Labs and currently funded by a small group of entrepreneurs and investors.   Pinterest launched its Business Pages in 2012 following the model of similar social sites.


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