After four years and massive growth, Pinterest is taking its first serious steps towards monetization. CEO Ben Silbermann today told users “we’re going to start experimenting with promoting certain pins from a select group of businesses” because “it’s so important that Pinterest is a service that will be here to stay.” Pinterest had previously only made a tiny amount from referral fees through SkimLinks.
The initial tests of ads will be in search results and categories feeds. For example, when you search for Halloween, you might see a costume on sale at a local shop that had pinned the outfit.
Advertisers won’t pay for the ads at first. Pinterest wants to make sure the ads work well first and deliver value to advertisers without disturbing users.
To that end Silbermann defused fears, writing “I know some of you may be thinking, ‘Oh great…here come the banner ads.’ But we’re determined to not let that happen.”
Specifically, He lays out that the ads will be: