In an email to users of the popular, image-based social network, Pinterest announced it would start experimenting with what it calls “Promoted Pins” for certain businesses.
The announcement is notable because, until now, Pinterest refrained from including any advertising on its website. Though Promoted Pins mark the beginning of the commercializing of the social network, Founder & CEO Ben Silbermann quickly played down expectations that the announcement would lead to introduction of banner ads and more intrusive advertising on the site in his email:
That’s why for us, it’s so important that Pinterest is a service that will be here to stay. To help make sure it does, we’re going to start experimenting with promoting certain pins from a select group of businesses.
I know some of you may be thinking, “Oh great…here come the banner ads.” But we’re determined to not let that happen…
That would be great. This is a welcome change for companies and brands who have long sought to capitalize on the growing user footprint and data produced by Pinterest. The social network represents a huge, new market for advertisers. If Pinterest succeeds in keeping advertisements minimalist and integrated seamlessly into its signature layout, the change may be welcomed by users, too.
The Bottom Line on Promoted Pins
Pinterest is introducing Promoted Posts, a limited advertising opportunity for companies and brands, and may win approve of both advertisers and users if they do not compromise the social network’s visual appeal.