Promoted Pins make debut on Pinterest

Now, we haven’t discussed too much about Pinterest as a social media marketing tool, but there has been an interesting recent development to speak about regarding the debut of its ‘Promoted Pins’ in pin streams across the network.

Pinterest announced last month that it would be experimenting with advertisers by implementing promoted pins as the company’s first foray into the world of monetising its network. These pins will appear identical to regular pins on your boards; in fact you may not even realise they are promoted pins until you spot the small notation at the foot of each pin.

Facebook’s sponsored posts are well visible to users. By contrast, Pinterest’s promoted pins look almost identical to user-pinned images which may indeed cause some friction with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The FTC has already confirmed it is looking more closely at native advertising to ensure that any paid advertising is clearly displayed as just that.

If the FTC feels Pinterest falls under the umbrella of a “search engine”, it could fall foul of the recently-updated Search Engine Ad Disclosure Guidelines which warned companies to abide by honest, transparent paid advertising rules.

At present, the promoted pins are entirely free for advertisers to make use of during the initial testing period, but not all Pinterest users will be able to see the pins as they are currently only being viewed to a proportion of members.

Sarah Perez, of TechCrunch.com, said: “The company is declining to disclose which advertisers are the first to test Promotional Pins, but would say that currently the advertisers are not paying for these placements.

“However, the pins in the wild starting today will look and act like they would if they had been paid ads, allowing Pinterest time to refine and further test the experience ahead of a wider launch.”

It is thought Pinterest will be keen to refine and get its paid advertising service up-to-speed in time for the upcoming festive shopping season.