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Pinterest Introduces “Promoted Pins”

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Ben Silbermann, CEO of Pinterest, announced last night via email that the social media “pinboard” site will begin experimenting with “promoted pins” from a select group of businesses.

Said Ben:

Pinterest is where you keep your wishlists, vacation plans, dream home ideas, and other things you want to do soon and in the future. That’s why for us, it’s so important that Pinterest is a service that will be here to stay…

I know some of you may be thinking, “Oh great…here come the banner ads.” But we’re determined to not let that happen. While we haven’t figured out all the details, I can say that 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.

For our first test, we’ll promote a few pins in search results and category feeds. 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 is a big part of many business’ social media campaigns and this could be a great opportunity for them to promote themselves to niche markets on Pinterest. Or it could spur many users to leave Pinterest to other similar websites without ads. We’ll see how “tasteful and transparent” Pinterest keeps things.

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