About a month ago Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann gave users a sneak peek at Promoted Pins, the platform’s new foray into social advertising. The founder promised tasteful, transparent and relevant ads. Now that the ads have officially arrived, users and marketers can judge for themselves.
As you can see in the screenshot below, the ads are subtle in nature and look a whole lot like organic pins. Without rolling over the pin, the only indication that an ad is sponsored is the grey text and icon seen at the bottom of the pin. By hovering the mouse over the pin, users are shown a brief message disclosing that the content is paid.
Pinterest is rolling the ads out simultaneously for both desktop and mobile. Promoted Pins will not appear in the home feed. Rather, they will be displayed at the top of search results and in category feeds. This approach will allow brands to target ads based on intent (the search scenario) and relevance (the category scenario).
As of today the ads are still in test mode, and according to TechCrunch they are currently available only to a select group of advertisers who are not yet paying for the service. Pinterest will use this period to collect feedback from both advertisers and users in order to optimize the program.
Promoted Pins are the latest addition in a string of updates presumably intended to reel brands and publications into the platform. Additional Pinterest updates include article pins, browser tracking and rich pins.