In September Pinterest announced that it would soon be rolling out “Promoted Pins”; Pinterest’s take on Facebook’s Promoted Posts, and Twitter’s Promoted Tweets. Yesterday (9th October) Pinterest confirmed that they are beginning to test Promoted Pins with a few select companies and that these paid pins will be appearing in user’s search results and category feeds.
Pinterest has been introducing various features this year including price alerts (alerts users if the price of a product they’ve added to a board drops), rich pins (enhances pins with additional information), and personalised pin recommendations. This is the first addition Pinterest has introduced however that directly monetizes the site.
At present, Pinterest are not disclosing details of which businesses are lucky enough to be testing the promotional pins (how they expect to hide this when the pins begin displaying though, I’m not so sure). They have stated however that for the time being, those involved are not paying for the advertising.
In fairness, it was only a matter of time before Pinterest allowed marketers to pay to promote pins. Pinterest needs to generate revenue just like any website which offers a free service to users.
The details however remain to be seen.
I’m hoping that Pinterest will implement pretty strict guidelines when it comes to what images they will allow to be promoted. It’s supposed to be a visual site, but I’m not convinced marketers will be overly concerned with ensuring the images they promote actually offer anything visually. Consequently it’s up to Pinterest to ensure paid advertising doesn’t negatively impact user experience.
Unfortunately, this sample image that’s doing the rounds doesn’t fill me with confidence that Pinterest will only allow images of value to be promoted:
There’s also been (as far as Google can show me, at least) no mention of the cost of promoting pins. Facebook’s Promoted Posts feature is (to date) very reasonable; with a £20 spend you can expect to reach about 6,000 to 12,000 people – with no additional cost should they actually interact with your post.
Twitter is comparably far more expensive, with businesses reportedly spending thousands on one campaign.
Here’s hoping that Pinterest will more closely represent the Facebook paid advertising model. With a reasonable cost, and a strict approval process designed to keep spam at bay, Promoted Pins could prove to be an excellent tool for marketers.
What are your thoughts on Promoted Pins? Have you come across any yet? Are you likely to use them in your marketing?