When compared to its social-media counterparts Facebook and Twitter, photo-sharing site Pinterest has held out on having advertisements on its site. But the wait is over. The company announced today that it is experimenting with its first type of ad unit: promoted pins.
"I know some of you may be thinking, 'Oh great…here come the banner ads,'" Pinterest founder and chief executive Ben Silbermann said in a blog post announcing the new product. "But we're determined to not let that happen."
To start, a "select group" of companies will participate in the new ad program, though Silbermann didn't offer any names. He also didn't explain how the pins would be labeled or how much they will eventually cost.
While Pinterest is still ironing out many of the details, Silbermann did indicate that the new ad units will be:
- Tasteful. No flashy banners or pop-up ads.
- Transparent. Pinterest will let users know if someone paid for a pin.
- Relevant. Promoted pins should be about stuff users are "actually interested in," Silbermann said. "Like a delicious recipe, or a jacket that's your style."
For now, businesses will be able to promote their pins in search results and category feeds. The ad units will most likely evolve over time according to user feedback, Silbermann said.