News Byte: Pinterest's Promotional Plans

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Source: Pinterest Blog
Source: Pinterest Blog

Pinterest CEO and cofounder Ben Silberman announced on his company's blog that the popular image-centric social media site will start promoting certain posts (“pins” in Pinterest parlance) from select businesses.

Preempting the cries from consumers already assailed in nearly every corner of the Internet by banner ads, Silberman clarified that these promoted pins will have to be “tasteful,” “transparent”, and “relevant.”

In other words, promoted pins can't be pop-ups or flashy banners, must have clear demarcations distinguishing sponsored content (relevant considering the FTC's upcoming examination into native advertising), and must show material that each Pinterest user is interested in.

Additionally, Silberman wrote that the Pinterest pin project is a work in progress and will change based on user feedback. The first test will showcase a few pins from select search results and categories. (Silberman's example was a pin of a Darth Vader costume for a “Halloween” search).

Pinterest's decision to push sponsored content follows a common trend among popular social media sites. Twitter rolled out Promoted Tweets in 2010, and Facebook rolled out the highly-controversial and now-defunct Sponsored Stories in 2011.

Though it remains to be seen how Pinterest users will react to promoted pins, Silberman indicates that these corporate opportunities are necessary for Pinterest's survival, and that the company is implementing promoted pins because “it's so important that Pinterest is a service that will be here to stay.”

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