Pinterest's promoted pins enter the next phase

Pinterest has teamed with 12 brands, including Target, Banana Republic and Nestle for paid tests

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
May 12, 2014
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It's been a while since Pinterest first announced that it would be starting its first monetization effort with promoted pins. The company had not said anything about them for months, as it was still testing them out, and gauging their effectiveness. 

Now, finally, the company has started the next phase of that effort, announcing on Monday that it has teamed up with 12 different brands to begin a paid test of the promotion. 

The brands that Pinterest has teamed up with are  ABC Family, Banana Republic,, Gap, General Mills, Kraft, lululemon athletica, Nestle (which includes Purina, Dreyer’s/Edy’s Ice Cream and Nespresso), Old Navy, Target, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Ziploc.

The promoted pins will show up on Pinterest's search and category feeds. The test group is being kept small so that the company can collect feedback, but says that it hopes to open up the testing to more businesses soon.

"These brands will help us test Promoted Pins to make sure they’re tasteful, transparent, relevant and improved based on Pinner feedback— so that Pinterest continues to be a great experience for everyone," Joanne Bradford, Head of Partnerships at Pinterest, wrote.

She revealed that tens of millions of users have added more than 30 billion Pins to Pinterest so far.

"Brands help people find inspiration and discover things they care about, whether it’s ideas for dinner, places to go or gifts to buy," she said. "We hope Promoted Pins give businesses of all sizes a chance to connect with more Pinners."

Pinterest first revealed the promoted pin effort all the way back in September of last year. They work the same as any other type of pin, except they have a label at the bottom that denoted that they are "promoted." It also contains a link to learn more about what that means.

Pinterest began to roll them out in October and they were, apparently, successful enough that brands are willing to plunk down money for them.

The company is not exactly breaking the mold here by relying on advertising dollars, as that is how both Facebook and Twitter make almost all of their money. Pinterest, though, has an advantage over other networks: people already use it specifically to find new goods to buy. That gives the network multiple different potential revenue streams.

For example, it is not hard to see Pinterest eventually partnering with brands to become an e-commcerce platform and actually selling goods directly from the site.

Promoted pins are Pinterest's first effort at making money, but the company will likely have a robust, and diverse, revenue stream in no time.

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