Pinterest to start offering ads as promoted pins

by Nick Cicero on Sep 19, 2013
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pinterestIn a blog post by company CEO Ben Silbermann today, Pinterest announced that they are going to be rolling out advertising with select partners.

The announcement comes as no surprise, more of an “it’s about time” actually. Pinterest currently has around 70 Million total users, with roughly 80% of those users female. Though they have done partnerships in the past, they have never before offered a true native advertising platform.

In a rather light-hearted post, Silbermann explains that “I know some of you may be thinking, ‘Oh great…here come the banner ads,'” but assures that they will be working to make these promoted pins a truly native experience for users.

While Pinterest admits they haven’t figured out all the details yet, they make a few promises to 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 first set of Promoted Pins will target searches and categories feeds, for example, Cabot Cheese (one of my favorite brands on Pinterest) could promote this recipe pin about Sports Night Pretzel Crisps to users who are searching for tailgate recipes.


Screen Shot 2013-09-19 at 3.40.34 PM

What’s interesting about this tactic is that Pinterest has been promoting their “rich pins” which were introduced in May of this year with additional information contained inside each pin. For food and beverage companies, this might be particularly impactful around seasonal campaigns like The Super Bowl and family-centric holidays to connect with consumers without forcing a click-through to a website.

Screen Shot 2013-09-19 at 3.27.00 PM

What do you think about Promoted Pins, and would you be interested in running a campaign with them? Let us know in the comments.


Post Author

Nick Cicero is the Editor at Social Fresh and a Digital Marketing Consultant. Formerly of Expion and Livefyre, Nick has experience building social campaigns for Sony PlayStation, Winn-Dixie, Eminem, Teen Vogue and more. He’s a fan of playing...

  • Kimi Sharp

    It was inevitable. Curious to see how “tasteful” the ads actually are. If done correctly, it should benefit both the businesses and consumers.

  • Looks interesting…. I like that the ads would ‘match’ the pins done by thousands… one can benefit by looking at them. I’m interested in what the campaign involves, yes. Gloria

  • http://marketing2040.blogspot.

    Very helpful article

  • pinterest is taking the path many other companies have taken before. Have no ads and create interest in their website and when enough people have come switch to ads. I dont blame them and as long as the ads are relevant to what people are searching I am all for it.

  • Meilee Anderson

    Yes. I will try it. I look forward to publishing my first promoted pin. I’m already thinking strategy now.

  • Completely agree. I think it will end up being really good for the Pinterest platform.

  • Same here. Any ideas yet?

  • Definitely. I like how they are also borrowing the great Twitter lesson of testing the ads in search streams first so that the main feed is not affected by initial trial and error.

  • Should be fun to watch. Very unique opportunities with Pinterest.

  • Ads will really work on Pinterest. Since, it is the best Social Media platform for upcoming Local brands in Fashion Industry and others. It also gives best presence to public figures at a Higher level.

    Awaiting for Pinterest Ads to be launched.

  • Cabot Cheese

    Oooh, thanks for the shout out, Nick! So glad to hear you enjoy our stream! It’s going to be fun to watch Pinterest changes, we agree! ~Wendy

  • treb072410

    Great post! Thanks for sharing Nick, I really had a great read…

  • This seems to be a great news! This will attract brands to explore pinterest more on daily basis. A beneficial feature for Fashion & Food brands.

    I hope it rolls out for all the users soon.

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