Pinterest announces “promoted pins”

September 20th, 2013 by Search Influence Alumni

Yesterday, Pinterest’s CEO Ben Silbermann announced on the company blog their first move toward running ads on the social bookmarking platform. Pinterest will be “promoting” select pins, and the ads will start appearing in the coming weeks in the search results and category feeds. Currently no businesses are paying for these ads; the company is just testing to “see how things go and hear what [we] think” pinterest

The CEO promises the company is not shifting to flashy banners ads. He says the promoted pins will be tasteful, transparent, and relevant. The promoted pins will be clearly identifiable as such and relevant to what the user is looking for. He promises to improve this new feature based on user feedback and seems to really want to work with and tweak this new feature to provide a great user experience.

I think this a smart move for Pinterest. They are “planning for the future,” as the title of the blog post states. People often use Pinterest as an idea board for different things such as home decor, fashion, and projects to do with their kids. But Pinterest is also very product oriented, with many pins marked with a prices and a link to the retail site. Providing some sort of way for business to market their products only makes logical business sense. It’s a win-win for the user and for Pinterest, as long as it is done in tasteful ways, which seems to be the plan.

I know personally I get frustrated when I am searching the fashion section on Pinterest and find a cute outfit but the link takes me nowhere useful. I love that skirt but where do I go to get it? These promoted pins would lead you straight to a place to buy that product!

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There are times, though, when I don’t  want to buy anything and wouldn’t want my search results to be cluttered with ads. When I search for a chicken recipe for dinner, I don’t want to see cookbooks for sale. I just want a simple “mommy blog” explaining how to make a certain dish. At times, I think I would find “promoted pins” very helpful, and the times where I wouldn’t, its seems they would be clearly marked and I could just look over them — as I usually do when my Google search is overly populated with ads.

As a marketer, I am super excited about this announcement, since it means great possibilities for my clients. I am very interested to see this new feature unfold and the success it could have for a small business on Pinterest.