Pinterest unveils ads, strikes international mobile deal

MUMBAI: After announcing its intention to do so last month, the fast-growing social network unveiled its new ‘Promoted Pin’ advertisements recently. The pins are marked by a subtle label below the item description. In a blog post, Pinterest CEO and co-founder Ben Silbermann said ‘Promoted Pins’ are still in a testing phase and “nobody’s paying for anything yet - we want to see how things go and, more than anything, hear what you think.”


San Francisco-based Pinterest promises the ads will be tasteful, transparent and relevant: “No flashy banners or pop-up ads,” Silbermann said in the blog post. The ads will appear in both Pinterest’s online and mobile apps, and are being rolled out now to a small portion of users for feedback.


Don’t expect the ads to remain unpaid for long. Once fine-tuned, Pinterest is expected to open the floodgates for its first revenue-generating product. With an estimated 53 million users and a value of $2.5 billion, ads should significantly cushion four-year-old Pinterest’s coffers.


In a separate development, Pinterest announced Thursday a deal to place a special widget on Android phones sold through Spanish mobile giant Telefonica. Pinterest already has an Android app, but the prominently placed widget will update faster and allow non-users to search it for shopping, according to a Wall Street Journal report.


No money is involved in the deal, but Pinterest is hopeful it can add international users, as well as bolster its mobile footprint. Telefonica has about 316 million customers in Europe and Latin America.

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