Pinterest Promoted Pins – Is Pinterest as we knew it dead?
Not long ago Pinterest changed their algorithm so that you don’t see every post from the people you follow. Ostensibly they did this to avoid clutter and to push quality content to the top. Unfortunately, they also gave companies the ability to bypass those quality benchmarks and simply pay to get their posts seen. And unlike the introduction of ads to other social media platforms, “promoted pins” have rendered Pinterest nearly unusable.
As a content creator on the web I have absolutely no problem with sites monetizing. But I do have a problem with them doing it in a horrible fashion. I mean, I don’t love getting an ad on Instagram or Snapchat here and there, but they’re mostly unobtrusive and infrequent.
On the other hand, Pinterest has absolutely flooded their pages with promoted pins. On average, 1 out of every 6 pins is an ad. I took some screenshots the other night from the popular page and as you can see, for every scroll of the page I was met with at least one ad. And whenever I browse, I’m inundated with the same 2-3 companies over and over again.
This is particularly troublesome when using Pinterest from a mobile device because ads end up taking up 50% of your screen real estate.
They do have a nice feature of being able to hide promoted pins and then tell them why, like “I’ve already seen it before”. And I did use this feature at first. But I found myself spending 80% of my Pinterest time hiding ads rather than actually looking at content. Sorry guys, but I’m not going to do your job for you. You should know seeing the same ad every few seconds is annoying.
So, do I think the introduction of ads is the end of Pinterest as we know it? It definitely doesn’t have to be. They’ve had growing pains before. Remember a few years ago when it was still in its infancy and became absolutely bombarded by spam links? They were able to fix that and I think they can fix this too.
The idea of promoted pins isn’t horrible – there are actually some really good examples of companies utilizing the Pinterest platform correctly. Check out this promoted pin from Glad – it feels totally natural and I might legitimately click on it without ever realizing it was an ad.
What are your thoughts on Pinterest adding advertising and has it affected your Pinterest usage?
June 20, 2015 @ 1:41 pm
They don’t bother me too much….YET. I have a feeling it will get worse.
I hate that because it is the one social media (other than my blog) I have and actually like.
Hope you’re having a nice weekend lady! 🙂
June 24, 2015 @ 5:50 am
It’s funny, some people haven’t really noticed them but I guess I tend to have an eye out for stuff like that since I’m interested in the behind-the-scenes aspect of social media marketing. We were discussing it on Twitter a woman said she didn’t see any ads, so someone else said look for the “promoted by” under the photos, and she came back and was like oh I see them now!
June 20, 2015 @ 2:45 pm
What a great post!! I basically don’t bother w/ “popular pages” and when Pinterest emails me saying there are “new pins for you” I ignore it. I frequent the accounts of those I follow myself, nearly all of whom I’ve found on my own and through others’ accounts I follow. I make a habit of not clicking on their promoted pins, it just feels like an obnoxious barrage of ads. Once in a blue moon I log in and on the page presented there may be one super interesting pin, but for the most part I ignore the pins because they feel like a barrage of ads to me. I don’t promote my pins either. I have no problem w/ monetization either when done in a non obnoxious, in your face way.
Love & Biscuits,
Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them
June 24, 2015 @ 5:48 am
I don’t go to the popular page much either, I mainly just look at my own feed and the food and gardening pages. But, I was bored and wanting to branch out a bit and just look at general stuff and I felt like it was ALL ads! Plus, I mainly browse Pinterest from my phone and like I showed the ads take up so much real estate on a phone screen, it’s frustrating.
July 1, 2015 @ 11:34 pm
There’s a Google Chrome Extension now available at http://www.StopPromotedPins.com.
July 4, 2015 @ 3:07 am
Hmm interesting. On principle I don’t really want to block everything, I mean, I monetize my own site after all. I just don’t want to be bombarded. I actually appreciate the execution of good promoted pins like the example above. But, that’s my marketing background talking! 😉
July 6, 2015 @ 1:47 pm
Fully agree with you on the monetization front. However, if you read the posts on Pinterest’s Facebook page, frustrated users are manually blocking these pins and reporting promoted pins as spam and offensive. In my view, it costs Pinterest more to investigate these misreported pins, relative to having a tool that automatically hides these pins. We’ve used promoted pins as an advertising medium, and I was getting tired of dealing with users that contacted us, claiming our pins were spam. I wish these tech companies would find more creative ways of monetizing their platforms. The 15-year-old Google orthodoxy has lost its novelty.
July 10, 2015 @ 12:30 pm
I hadn’t thought of that! Really interesting to find out people were reporting as spam. I did “report” some that I was seeing over and over, but through the ad reporting system not spam. Sounds like there are definitely some growing pains happening, I’m curious to see how they deal with it all. I find it interesting from a marketing perspective but of course as a content creator I hope it doesn’t negatively impact me in the process!
September 6, 2015 @ 12:21 am
“We’ve used promoted pins as an advertising medium, and I was getting tired of dealing with users that contacted us, claiming our pins were spam . . . ”
You’ve used promoted pins but then created an extension to hide promoted pins?
November 28, 2015 @ 8:51 pm
I’m getting the same ad over and over again for a children’s picture book and for snake oil hair/skin treatments. I don’t have a kid and I don’t have the hair loss the product is supposed to cure.
December 22, 2015 @ 12:59 pm
I don’t mind promoted pins that, like in your example, fit in with the Pinterest spirit and aesthetic. And they’re even better if they are related to my search. However, I’m constantly getting ugly “snake oil” ads, or worse, sexy body suit ads (Basically pictures of a woman’s oiled butt and breasts. Oh, and I guess she’s wearing a bodysuit…) while searching for “boho room decor.” Why does Pinterest think it’s okay to show me this? I am not amused.
February 1, 2017 @ 10:49 am
It seems like the pins Pinterest is offering me are overloaded with promoted pins (they look like ads to me, let me call it like I see it) . Many of them now are for information I searched for outside of Pinterest (so they are using lists) and many of them have nothing to do with information I am interested in pinning (or looking at). Are any of them from boards I am “following”? I’m all for monetizing but I’m not interested in spending time looking at a stream of paid advertisements.
May 5, 2017 @ 8:25 pm
Was using the pinblock add-on but it stopped working summer 2016. Downloaded a greasemonkey script that removed the promoted by pins but left gaping holes in the home feed. Downloaded an older version of pinblock that worked … until today. A few promoted pins here and there I don’t mine. But, like many of you, I am barraged by promoted pins. My usage of pinterest is way way WAY down from what it was. I get they want to monetize it but it’s obnoxious. I mainly just use pinterest as an ideas board for me, stopped browsing the boards quite some time ago, will now stop browsing my home feed if I can’t (or they won’t) reduce the number of promoted pins. Sucks.
March 25, 2018 @ 4:58 pm
I absolutely hate these spam ads. They are cheesy opportunists that are unwelcome on my boards. They are nothing I am interested in and do not appreciate the intrusion. It wastes my time and makes me make note to never shop whatever crap they are hawking. If there is a way to eliminate them I will. I will not, however, pay Pinterest !! That is outright blackmail and I don’t appreciate being held hostage for their cut. This is a HUGE Pinterest FAIL.
June 16, 2020 @ 12:40 pm
It’s been what, five years since the OP and Pinterest has now become unusable to me. It was bad enough when it was just the deluge of ads for Zulily and Walmart and Etsy and Wayfair etc etc etc, but now I’m getting tons of “recommendations” that have nothing to do with anything I view! The most recent annoyance has been dozens of tik tok pins featuring assorted nonsense supposedly related to my garden board. I’m not sure what relevance some girls dancing around and looking bored have to do with making raised beds or landscaping, but I have better things to do than click Don’t Show every fourth ad. Maybe if telling them to stop showing it to me would put an end to it I’d stay, but a week of saying stop has had no visible effect on the unwanted and irrelevant pins they keep burying my feed in. Pinterest used to be one of my favorite sites. After today, it’s just one of my exes.