A month ago, Pinterest posted an announcement on their blog saying they were going to “start experimenting with promoting certain pins from a select group of businesses.” They were concerned that users would be concerned, but they went on to assure everyone that it wouldn’t be a big deal.
Today, Pinterest updated that announcement post to say that promoted pins are now live. Does anyone else find it odd that they updated a month old post rather than post something at the top of their blog. . . .
Anyway, here’s how it goes:
We wanted to let you know that we are starting our first test with promoting pins today, so you may spot a few in your search results or category feeds on the web or in mobile apps. Here’s what they look like:
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.
If you click that link, you’ll go to a form where you can tell them how you feel about these posts. Back in September, 80 people had something to say about it and – as you can imagine – most of the comments were negative.
The truth is, if they hadn’t told you there were promoted pins, you probably wouldn’t notice because Pinterest is full of pins that look just like the promoted one. Almost every shoe photo comes right from a retailer’s catalog. Nearly every gadget, home decor item and toy is something you can buy. Now, Pinterest is making brands pay for the privilege of posting. For the average Pinterest user, it’s a non-issue.
I suppose most of the complainers aren’t really concerned about a branded blot in their otherwise pristine Pinterest feed. It’s the concept that’s killing them, that Pinterest would dare to presume what they like or would not like. Advertising! Humbug! But if you ask those same people to pay for Pinterest, they won’t do it.
I’ll never understand how people can expect websites to operate for free – or in this case – ad free.
Good luck, Pinterest. I’m with you on this one.