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With so much revenue tied to social media, it’s amazing it took Pinterest as long as it did to start advertising. Founded in 2009, Pinterest has proven to be the fastest growing social platform of all time, now boasting an incredible 47 million unique visitors each month.

In an email sent out to users, Pinterest co-founder Ben Silbermann made a tasteful announcement of the new direction:

Just over a year ago, my wife and I welcomed our son into the world. Since his first day, I’ve been pinning fun things we can do together, right now while he’s still little and later when he gets older. I know many of you do the same. Pinterest is where you keep your wishlists, vacation plans, dream home ideas, and other things you want to do soon and in the future.

That’s why for us, it’s so important that Pinterest is a service that will be here to stay. To help make sure it does, we’re going to start experimenting with promoting certain pins from a select group of businesses.

I know some of you may be thinking, “Oh great…here come the banner ads.” But we’re determined to not let that happen. While we haven’t figured out all the details, I can say that promoted pins will be:

Tasteful—No flashy banners or pop-up ads.

Transparent—We’ll always let you know if someone paid for what you see, or where you see it.
Relevant—These pins should be about stuff you’re actually interested in, like a delicious recipe, or a jacket that’s your style.
Improved based on your feedback—Keep letting us know what you think, and we’ll keep working to make things better.
For our first test, we’ll promote a few pins in search results and category feeds. For example, a pin for a Darth Vader outfit from a costume shop might be promoted in a search for “halloween.” Nobody’s paying for anything yet—we want to see how things go and, more than anything, hear what you think.

Thanks so much for all your support these first few years, and we hope you’ll keep pinning with us for many years to come!

All the best,
Ben

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