A thousand words
Pinterest made two significant announcements this week, revealing a bit of their still emerging business model. On Tuesday they announced new features for article pins, an effort to expand their great success with images into written content. The Pinterest developer blog provided an updated explanation of how web sites can support rich content for article pins, a process that is similar to Facebook Open Graph sharing in that it uses specialized metatags. HubSpot offered an overview of what marketers need to know and TechCrunch looked at the long term factors that motivated Pinterest to expand into the article bookmarking, sharing and curation areas.
The other announcement's motivation is obvious. Last Thursday Pinterest announced that they will 'start experimenting with promoting certain pins from a select group of businesses', which is, at long last, an effort to begin making serious money. Pinterest promised to move slowly and carefully into native advertising and Ecommerce Times explained why there is a risk of significant backlash from users, which might be only part of their problem. On September 16th the FTC announced that they are beginning to look at the entire practice of native advertising, something that has become a staple of revenue generation for almost all social networks who make more money when ads blend seamlessly with user content.