Pinterest Is Now Pushing Promoted Pins Into Users’ Home Feeds

The social bookmarking site is accelerating its advertising efforts in the U.S.; it previously only served paid ads in category and search results.


Pinterest is finally stepping on the advertising accelerator.

The company announced today that it has started pushing Promoted Pins into the home feeds of users. Previously, Pinterest’s ads appeared only on category pages and search results. Here’s an example from its blog post:


The company has purposely slow-played the introduction of paid messages on its popular social bookmarking site. It tested Promoted Pins for six months in 2014, before finally making the CPM-based ad product available for U.S. marketers on Jan. 1.

Pinterest is calling the introduction of ads into users home feeds an experiment, but clearly is starting to pick up the pace.

“I would say we are speeding things up because the advertisers are ready,” Joanne Bradford, Pinterest’s head of partnerships, told the Wall Street Journal. “We’ve worked very hard over the course of the beta period and took all those learnings and built a very aggressive roadmap for 2015.”

Also on the map: a CPC-based Promoted Pin product, in beta testing since June, that is aimed at small and medium businesses. But for now the top priority is honing the CPM product, aiming to keep the quantity down and the quality high and make sure it doesn’t annoy users accustomed to content from people and interest they follow.

With that in mind, advertisers will not be able to specifically buy placement on home feeds, a Pinterest spokesperson told Marketing Land. Rather they can target a category related to the item. Ads will be displayed on home feeds of users who Pinterest determines are interested in a category, but only if the pins meet certain performance metrics (presumably some combination of Repins and clicks). By adding the quality component Pinterest says it will serve fewer and better ads on home feeds than on category and search pages.

Postscript: A earlier version of this article misstated that Pinterest plans to release a CPC ad product this year. In fact, the company has been beta testing a pay-per-click Promoted Pin ad unit since last June.

About The Author

Martin Beck is Third Door Media’s Social Media Reporter, covering the latest news for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. He spent 24 years with the Los Angeles Times, serving as social media and reader engagement editor from 2010-2014. A graduate of UC Irvine and the University of Missouri journalism school, Beck started started his career at the Times as a sportswriter and copy editor.

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