When Pinterest first entered the social networking world, it was quickly labeled as the site for women who like looking at – and sharing – pictures of shoes. That’s totally stereotypical, of course, although we all know that stereotypes have to come from a grain of truth somewhere. It didn’t take long for online marketers to see the potential of Pinterest to bring in traffic and other advantages. Today, Pinterest continues to be one of the major traffic-pulling sites and has even spawned copycats.


But how does the platform earn money? Is it paying off for the founders?

In a blog entry last week, Ben Silbermann, CEO & Co-Founder of Pinterest, shared their plans for the future. Naturally, the guys have to make money at some point, and surprise, surprise, ads are now coming into the picture.

In the post, Silbermann highlights promoted pins from businesses. Obviously, these businesses will be putting in money in exchange for the visibility. And, just as obviously, users are wary of this development, as is usually the case when ads come into the picture.

Silbermann was quick to point out, however, that while the details have not been ironed out, he can assure Pinterest users of some things:

  • 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.

That all sounds good to me, although we do have to see exactly how the promoted pins will affect the Pinterest experience. With most other major sites utilizing ads, I do think that Pinterest will not antagonize users all that much. After all, ads are pretty much part of our lives.

Are you an avid Pinterest user? How do you feel about the platform showing ads soon?

[Image via MIS]