Ads on Pinterest, Sigh

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Will Pinterest put ads on your boards? (image:
~It’s hubbub free. No personal dramas. No time-draining conversations. Pinterest has such a peaceful vibe it’s like moseying through a quiet gallery where the pictures wait to tell you more with a click.
~It’s built entirely out of widely varied enthusiasms. Your own pins can help you find the article you saved about gut microbiome, the DIY chandelier you want to make, and the song that teaches your kids about the periodic table. Going through other pinners’ boards is like flipping through magazines made of each person’s delights.
~It’s a way of sharing who we are while at the same time, by organizing what appeals to us, we make it easier for other people to find interesting ideas and images.
A look at the everything front page indicates that users aren’t necessarily on Pinterest to share consumer recommendations, although there are plenty of tempting pins for fashion and home décor products. They’re using it to share inspiring ways to live: with more humor and less angst, with beauty found in an evocative landscape, with clever ideas for raising kids or making dinner or building a garden shed. This in itself makes Pinterest seem like a blessed relief from the endless marketing found online.

That is, until now.

Pinterest is opening its boards to advertisement from major consumer brands, specifically from companies that can cough up commitments in the range of one million to two million. It’s not entirely clear if sponsored pins will appear on users’ curated boards. During very successful beta testing, ads only appeared in search results and category feed, not on individual boards. Yet according to a recent New York Times article, these ads will appear on relevant boards.

For example, a Promoted Pin from Kraft Foods, one of Pinterest’s early partners, could show up on a Pinterest board of chili recipes collected and browsed by someone who is on a mobile phone while grocery shopping.

I’m not thrilled to think that my board robots made of junk might soon include an ad for Rust-Oleum, my board of gardening hints might include a promotional pin for Round-Up, or my collection of articles on learning might be spattered with ads for educational apps. It remains to be seen if advertising will change the Pinterest experience. But I find it heartening to see how responsive Pinterest is to their pinners. They’re even soliciting feedback from pinners. Tell them what you think!

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