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It was only a matter of time before Pinterest added advertising, and that time has come: Pinterest co-founder and CEO Ben Silbermann announced in a blog post Thursday that the image-based social network will “start experimenting with promoting certain pins from a select group of businesses.”
Silbermann offered a few more details on how the program will work:
“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.”
He also promised that the promoted pins won’t junk up your feed — they’ll be “tasteful” and “relevant,” “about stuff you’re actually interested in, like a delicious recipe, or a jacket that’s your style.”
Pinterest, which launched as an invite-only site in 2010, has grown rapidly — the site reportedly had over 70 million users as of July 2013. And in recent months, it’s been making various efforts toward eventual monetization: It launched new types of pins — for food, retail products and movies — in May as a way to associate images with brands, and started making suggestions based on a user’s web browsing history in July.