Pinterest Launches Promoted Pins

I received word from the Pinterest team announcing the limited roll-out of promoted pins. At this time this feature is available to a small group of brands for testing, but the groundwork is being laid to support paid amplification of Pinterest content.

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Here is an excerpt From the Pinterest Blog

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. 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.

For our first test, we’ll promote a few pins in search results and category feeds. For example, a pin for a Darth Vader outfit from a costume shop might be promoted in a search for “halloween.” Nobody’s paying for anything yet—we want to see how things go and, more than anything, hear what you think.

Pinterest Promoted Pin Mock

This is an important announcement for brands that leverage Pinterest. Having the ability to amplify content and associate with topics such as “seasons” is a key step to going beyond organic reach and driving additional discoverability within the channel.

Back in May, I attended the first Pinterest Partner Marketing event. During that session one of the items that was revealed was the Pinterest Interest Graph. To recap, an interest graph is an online representation of the specific things in which an individual is interested. And because the focus of Pinterest is based on what people are indexing on the web and then categorizing by interests, the Pinterest Interest Graph is the foundation for their business moving forward especially with today’s promoted pins announcement.


The key to the interest graph for Pinterest is the ability to create personalized experiences that change based on an individuals life stage and interests. The association is less with people and more with things. This may include life events such as marriage, children, etc… and Pinterest hopes that by focusing on interests they are building a sustainable platform that can grow with users over time and continue to provide both utility and relevance based on discovery. Now, with the overlay of promoted pins, Pinterest will have the ability to leverage the data from their Interest graph and map that to a promoted product suite to add value to potential advertisers as well as a model to drive actual revenue.

It will be interesting to track how this will ultimately be rolled out, but the groundwork was announced in May, this is the next step in the evolution of the platform.

Follow Tom Edwards @BlackFin360

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