Promoted Pins Have Arrived

30 Sep Promoted Pins Have Arrived

Changes are coming to everyone’s favorite virtual pinboard site. On September 19, Pinterest announced that after four years of being a free site, it will begin experimenting with promoting pins from select businesses.

For those of you starting to panic that you will now be bombarded with images of someone else’s dream closet – fear not; Pinterest has promised to make the promoted pins as non-invasive as possible.

According to Pinterest, the 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.


As they begin to test, the site will promote a few pins in search results and category feeds. When I use Pinterest for searching I generally want a wide range of options and ideas, so I don’t think the promoted pins will bother me – if I even notice them at all. So long as they are relevant to what I am searching, the promoted pins might even help if they clearly identify where I can buy the product, what the recipe is, etc.

So far no companies are paying to the service yet as Pinterest first wants to test the waters to see how things go and hear what users think before they involve paying brands. Considering that many brands with visually appealing products get a lot of exposure on Pinterest without having to pay, I’ll be curious to see which brands sign on to the advertising opportunity in the coming months.

In addition to promoted pins, Pinterest also announced last week that the site will be rolling out a new look for articles. According to Pinterest, its users are not just using the site for images – but words too, as more than 5 million articles are pinned to the site everyday. Aimed at making the site a better place for people to save and organize articles, the new look will feature a format that includes the headline, author, story description and link to the source on the pin.

Pinterest is hoping that the change will encourage more users to pin and share articles they find interesting. The new updates could also encourage more media outlets to utilize Pinterest as a tool to promote content. Given that a number of media publishers using its “Pin It” button are finding Pinterest to be a top referrer of traffic – it looks like it makes sense for publications to add Pinterest to the list of sites they push out their content.

What do you think? Would you push out articles about your company through Pinterest?

Kathryn Kaplan
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