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A revenue model is essential for any online service that seeks to sustain itself. Pinterest is no different. It has been around for almost four years and has experienced immense growth. It is now seriously considering monetization, and the plans were laid out today by Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann. Users will soon begin to see promoted pins from a select group of businesses, initially, promoted pins will only appear in the search results and category feeds.

Nobody likes flashy banners of pop-up ads, and Silbermann is aware of that. He says that while they’ve not figured out all the details of this revenue model, he can say that promoted pins will be tasteful, meaning that there will be no pop-up ads or flashy banners. Promoted pins will also be relevant, so for example if the user is interested in recipes, the pin is going to be related to that particular interest. Since they’re just testing the model at this point in time, selected advertisers aren’t going to pay for promoted pins just yet. If Pinterest is able to determine that this model works as a sustainable way of generating revenue without compromising on user experience, they’ll then open it up for advertisers.

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