Pinterest Experiments with Promoted Pins on Road to Monetization


After four years of ‘pinning,’ Pinterest has yet to produce any revenue from its growing community, which reached 46.2 million people in July in the US alone, according to ComScore. But that may all be about to change. .

As its users move from web to mobile, the visual/social platform plans to experiment with “promoted pins”—an ad service that, for now, will be free and function very much like the promoted posts that run on Twitter and Facebook.

“Nobody’s paying for anything yet—we want to see how things go and, more than anything, hear what you think,” CEO Ben Silbermann wrote in a blog post. “We’re going to start experimenting with promoting certain pins from a select group of businesses,” 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.'”[more]

The promoted posts will be clearly marked and will give brand control over the placement of their ads, while Silbermann ensured users that there would be no “flashy banners or pop up ads,” and that the ads users do see will be relevant to their pinning tastes. 

The move builds upon Pinterest’s advancement into e-commerce, an endeavor launched in May that placed pricing and availability stats on pins. And for the moment, users actually seem happy that the brand is pursuing revenue streams, with plenty of positive feedback on Silbermann’s blog post.