When you next log into Pinterest, you could see promoted pins in your pin stream. Pinterest announced that it has officially begun including promoted pins on their site.
Pinterest announced last month that they would be experimenting with advertisers by using promoted pins as the company’s first real drive toward monetizing the sites.
Promoted pins appear almost identical to regular pins that users have pinned on their boards. You might not even realize you’re seeing a promoted pin unless you notice the small “Promoted Pin” notation at the bottom, which appears underneath the photo, description, and the company that pinned.
Promoted pins are quite seamless from a user perspective, although it definitely isn’t making a lot of differentiation between paid and non-paid pins.
They work just like regular pins, only they have a special “promoted” label, along with a link to learn more about what that means. Remember we’re still just testing things out right now, so we’d really like to hear what you think. We’ll be listening closely to what you have to say, and will continue to keep you posted about how things go.
Because the promoted pins look nearly identical to user pinned images, that could cause some issues with the FTC, as sites should be making any paid advertising clearly look as paid advertising. These pins are hardly differentiated, and most users tend to not look that far down in the pinned item.
The FTC is looking into native advertising that doesn’t appear to be advertising. If the FTC considers Pinterest to be a “search engine”, as many people do search for keywords on Pinterest, it could fall under their Search Engine Ad Disclosure Guidelines. The FTC updated those guidelines in June and warned companies not to violate them.
The promoted pins will appear first in search results and category feeds, on both the web and in mobile apps.
The promoted pins are free for advertisers during the testing period, but not all Pinterest users will see the pins, as they are only currently shown to some members, TechCrunch reported:
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.
Pinterest also said that while the pins are appearing online and on mobile, there’s a chance that you won’t see them for yourself because right now they’re only rolling out to a subset of Pinterest users at first.
There’s no word on how long the free promoted pins testing phase will last, nor when it will roll out to all users. However, I suspect they will want to have this in place for the upcoming holiday shopping season.