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Pinterest Tests Paid Opportunities for Brands

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Pinterest has confirmed that it has begun testing promoted pins – the next big step in its evolution to becoming a profitable social media platform.

During this initial test, content from a handful of select brands will start appearing at on top of Pinterest search results and category feeds, on both desktop and mobile. While only a small subset of users will be exposed to the trial, Pinterest hopes to glean learnings and feedback, with a full ads product launching in the near future.

Over the past few months we have seen ongoing updates to the platform, from rich pins to price alerts and web analytics, but this latest one marks Pinterest’s first foray into paid advertising. Below is a screenshot shared on the Pinterest blog demonstrating how this feature will look in action.

Pinterest’s aim is to keep promoted pins as “tasteful” and “relevant” to users as possible, without incorporating flashy banners or pop-up ads. As is demonstrated in the above example, promoted pins will integrate seamlessly into the feed view, and contain disclaimers communicating that they are appearing in the feed because an advertiser “paid to have it placed where you’d be more likely to notice it”.

Not only is Pinterest the fastest growing social media site in history, reaching 10 million U.S. monthly users in its first 9 months – but it is also the most lucrative in terms of click-throughs for e-Commerce brands, topping other social platforms, including Facebook, with an average order value greater than $80. The pending release of promoted pins continues to keep Pinterest front and center for marketers looking to drive incremental site traffic and e-Commerce opportunities.

Specific details surrounding the release of promoted pins, including a pricing model, are still yet to be determined. Furthermore, whether or not platform advertising will expand from pins into other realms – for example promoted boards or profiles – remains to be seen. As Pinterest works to lay out this road map, marketers can start to consider if, and how, promoted pins could work to support and amplify their future social strategy.

Cover photo via Business Insider