Pinterest Promises to Keep Ads Classy

If there were any doubts that Pinterest is a full-grown social network, they have now been erased. Soon we will be seeing ads incorporated into the current format.

Pinterest CEO and Co-Founder Ben Silbermann walked his user base through the upcoming changes and ad incorporation on Pinterest in a blog post yesterday– and a pretty darn heartfelt one at that. He laid out four aspects to assure users that the monetization on Pinterest won’t be its downfall.

Pinterest ads will be tasteful – not eyesores that pop-up and cover your content. They will be transparent – so users are clear about which pins are promoted. They will be relevant to the tastes of different users, and they will be targeted based on user feedback.

Wedding boards are some of the most common creations found on Pinterest, so in the spirit of pinning, here’s my breakdown of the four parts – bride style.

Relevant – Something Old

pinboard1Facebook started out with banner ads but has been moving more and more into content delivery with sponsored stories. Brands want users to interact with their content, not just lay eyes on it, hence the transition. Also, the growing popularity of ad blockers and increased banner blindness is paving the way to more native advertising.

If Pinterest wants to roll out ads the right way, they will pin relevant content for the users, not just ads served up to the highest bidder.

Based on User Feedback – Something New

somethingnew2This concept isn’t exactly new, but it’s something that many social networks and websites grasp at straws to figure out. Hulu tries to ask whether users like or dislike certain ads, but rarely does anything with the information.

If Pinterst wants sponsored pins to be welcomed with open arms, give the power to the people and let them decide what works and what doesn’t.

Tasteful – Something Borrowed

somethingborrowedPinterest should borrow from Tumblr when looking to incorporate ads into its interface. Yes, I was singing the same tune last week when Instagram announced that it was coming of age and working on ads, but that’s because Tumblr has a subtle and successful ad experience. The promoted posts are few and far between, and usually have interesting and unique content. What more could users want out of paid ads?

Transparent – Something Blue

somethingblueSocial networks want to make ads and sponsored stories look as close to organic content as possible. The FTC on the other hand wants brands to clearly and prominently label anything that was posted for money.

Pinterest doesn’t really have much of a choice in this aspect, but if the ads are something users are engaged with, then they won’t mind the labeling.

‘Til Death Do Us Part

Pinterest has been able to sit back and watch the other major social networks get their ad bearings, and now it gets to be the bride. The main theme through all four of these concepts is intriguing content in the sponsored pins. The success or failure of these posts depends on the content that Pinterest is promoting.

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Amanda Dodge