Pinterest Starts Testing Promoted Pins

Promoted pins are now visible in Pinterest search results and category feeds. They look and work just like regular pins, only with a “Promoted Pin” label and an icon that explains why the pin is there and which website it’s promoting. This new feature is still in the test phase, with only a few promoted pins from “a select group of businesses” appearing for now.

Image taken from the Pinterest blog

A recent study by eMarketer reveals that about 25% of US agency executives show interest in using Pinterest for social campaigns, which makes this move toward paid advertising unsurprising.

Many users also began expecting ads to appear in Pinterest after the implementation of the “Picked for You” feature last month. This involved displaying recommended pins (labeled as “We thought you might like this”) based on a user’s existing boards.

Pinterest clarified that these are different from promoted pins, as “We thought you might like this” pins only appear in users’ home feeds, not in results or category pages.

The announcement was met with mixed reactions, with some users citing how much they hate the “We thought you might like this” pins and expressing how they expect promoted pins to be no different.

Ogilvy Entertainment president Doug Scott also shared his opinion on Pinterest ads at Advertising Week’s “Visual Revolution” panel last month. He said that he “would just recommend that they don’t accept any advertising from any agency, and it all happens in house,” and that Pinterest shouldn’t “go and adopt an analog ad model for a digital platform that subsequently potentially could really hurt its own brand.”

Pinterest CEO and Co-Founder Ben Silbermann said that they are “determined” to not let promoted pins be like the annoying banner ads some users expect them to be. According to him, these pins will be:

  • Tasteful – no pop-up ads or distracting banner ads
  • Transparent – all promoted pins will be labeled properly
  • Relevant – the promoted pins that appear in your feeds will be about something you’re interested in, based on Pinterest activity
  • Improved based on user feedback – Pinterest encourages users to provide feedback on their experience

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