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Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann sent a message to users this week about the site's new test promoting certain business ads.
He wrote in an email, "It's so important that Pinterest is a service that will be here to stay. To help make sure it does, we're going to start experimenting with promoting certain pins from a select group of businesses."
The photo-heavy, pinboard-style website, which went live in 2010, has increasingly been used by businesses to complement their social media strategies. For example, last month, Krispy Kreme announced its fall menu lineup on the site. Taco Bell has been recognized for using the site to recruit employees.
Other brands, such as Rosati's Pizza, use it to tout their menus, interact with customers and tell their brand history.
Silbermann assured users the promotion experiment will be "tasteful" and will not entail "flashy banners or pop-up ads." They will also be transparent.
"We'll always let you know if someone paid for what you see or where you see it," he wrote.
The promotions will also be relevant, "these pins should be about stuff you're actually interestd in," and will be improved based on feedback.
For the test, Pinterest will promote a few pins in the search results and category feeds. Nothing has been paid for during the trial period.
"We want to see how things go and, more than anything, hear what you think," Silbermann wrote.
Read more about social media marketing.