After three years of no visible revenue streams other than its huge funding, Pinterest is finally going to start running paid ads on its platform.
Pinterest will start testing “promoted pins,” from a select group of businesses. In a blog post titled “Planning For The Future,” CEO Ben Silbermann announced the move, pledging to users that the ads would be tasteful and constantly improved using feedback from users.
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.
Silbermann said the first few ads will be tests that no company will have paid for, and will be tied to relevant searches, for example, a picture of a Darth Vader costume will show up in a Pinterest search for “halloween.”
The march towards paid advertising was inevitable at Pinterest. The platform was already partnering with several brands for listing product prices, and companies were engaging the platform in different ways, like J.Crew who debuted its entire fall catalog on Pinterest first.