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Pinterest is one of the hottest and fastest-growing social networks in the world, and therefore it's no surprise that a growing number of brands are making the image-centric service a part of their social media strategy.

But up until now, their activities on Pinterest have technically been in violation of the service's rules, which forbade commercial usage.

The official rules of engagement changed yesterday, however, as Pinterest officially launched Pinterest for Business. Pinterest product manager Cat Lee announced the move on the company blog, explaining:

If your organization is new to Pinterest, sign up on Pinterest for a business account. Existing accounts on Pinterest can be easily converted by following the steps on the business site.

Signing up on our business site allows you to specify your business name (instead of first name and last name) and go through an optimized new user flow...

That user flow provides for verification, a la Twitter's verified accounts, as well as easier access to new buttons and widgets. Pinterest has also created a dedicated site for businesses, which contains best practices, case studies and documentation. The goal of providing this content: "help businesses interact with people the right way."


Pinning together a business model?

Pinterest obviously has an interest in establishing a more formal relationship with brands. It's one the most popular social networks in the United States, but doesn't yet have any revenue to show for it. The company's investors, which have provided more than $130m in funding, will expect that to change, and probably sooner than later.

To that end, it's worth noting that Pinterest's Lee made reference to "future products and services that will provide more powerful ways of reaching and understanding your audience on Pinterest" in her blog post. That would seem to indicate that some sort of paid tools or ad offerings are coming.

That, for obvious reasons could be good news for Pinterest and its investors. And it could be good news for brands. After all, even if Pinterest adds paid offerings into the mix, it's better to avoid a Facebook-like situation and establish where Pinterest is heading as a business sooner rather than later.

The likely losers in Pinterest's impending push for revenue? All of the companies that have popped up hoping to take advantage the fact that Pinterest hadn't yet developed a business model. The big question now: is Pinterest thinking about the opportunities that seem so obvious, or does it have a few surprised up its sleeve?

Patricio Robles

Published 15 November, 2012 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

2475 more posts from this author

Comments (6)

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Nick Stamoulis

I'm very interested to see what kind of tools Pinterest has in the works for brands. What kind of analytics/tracking/attribution tools do they have up their sleeves? I'm sure the case studies will provide some great insights for a lot of other companies as well.

over 4 years ago


Dustin Horrock

Great article! Thanks!

over 4 years ago


Martha House

Pinterest is indeed the fastest growing social media outlet....I am already thinking ahead as to what the "next evolution" of Pinterest will be in a year from now! Thank you for the article!

over 4 years ago


Jennifer Long | Clicked Solutions

Thank you for sharing your thoughts about Pinterest's new business pages. It will be really interesting to see where they take things from here, but I'm hoping they have a trick or two up their sleeves for their sake.

over 4 years ago


Alexander Dall

Are there actually any advantages to switching to a business account? Or would sticking with the current site be allowed? Looking over the business site i saw little to encourage a switch.

over 4 years ago


Aditya Bhatkal, Digital Media and Business deveopment executive at Enterprise Social Media

This is pretty insightful. Thanks. Pinterest is pretty much ushering in to the new age with its features and bringing the game to platforms like Facebook and Twitter for business.

Features like Sales alerts are ingenious and are a great source of online referral for prospective customers for brands and Pinterest is leading the trend.

Have complied a set of these features that brands today can use. Take a look


In today's day PInterest along with platforms like Instagram and Tumblr are quite ahead and the year 2014 will see quite a change in the social space.

over 3 years ago

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