Is Pinterest The New Banner Ad?

While Pinterest has taken the internet by storm, it still hasn't quite figured out how to make the big bucks. There are two major ways they can do this: Either by making a commission from products bought through the site, or off of separate advertisement campaigns.

But while Pinterest is still trying to make a decision, their pinners have taken monetizing the platform into their own hands — FastCompany recently cited Satsuki Shibuya, a designer with a million plus Pinterest followers, who gets paid between $150 to $1,200 to pin an image for a brand.

Though she doesn't give reveal which brands she's working for, she does say this: “It’s a smart move. They’re already putting ads in magazines and there are 10 times as many people looking at Pinterest.”

This might seem like a great monetization strategy, however when your “sponsored” pins look exactly like your regular pins (there's no indication that differentiates advertisements), is this ethical?

On the flip side, is it all that different from tweeting a sponsored hashtag, since most don't write the word “sponsored” in the tweet?

Should Pinterest regulate sponsored pinning? Or if you have a disclosure on your blog, is that enough?

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5 Responses

  1. Cheryl

    I think that, just like any blog that mentions sponsored posts, these pinners should have some designation for sponsored pins. If we don’t TRY to maintain integrity on the internet, it’ll all become a huge, greedy mess, in my opinion.

  2. karina

    I don’t think it matters if the pin is sponsored or not. If I like someone’s pins, I follow them and I don’t care if they get paid to pin. If one does not like something, there is no obligation to follow and look at their pins. If she has over million pinterest followers, obviously, Satsuki is doing something right.

  3. Cheri

    I enjoy Pinterest and understand they need to find a way to make money but advertising is so invasive. If they can make money by having sponsored pins that would be fabulous. Does the consumer need to know it’s sponsored? Why would anyone care?
    What wouldn’t work (for the advertiser) is a pay-per-click business model. There’s much more window shopping done on Pinterest that people actually looking for products to buy.

  4. Sofia - As We Travel

    Oohh, that is a smart move! I think it’s ethical as long as you actually do stand for the product you are paid to pin, if it’s something you actually would recommend and you think your followers would appreciate to see. Otherwise, you could probably put a hashtag on the photo saying sponsored or something.

  5. mackenzie

    Hey, this is BS. as of april 7th, pinterest banned affiliate links. Isn’t what you’re doing illegal and against the pinterest rules?