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How Much Are Brands Paying People To Pin?

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Pinner Satsuki Shibuya, who has more than one million followers, says she gets paid to pin
Pinner Satsuki Shibuya, who has more than one million followers, says she gets paid to pin

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

When it comes to Pinterest, the million dollar (billion dollar?) question remains: How is the company going to make money? FastCompany's October issue has a great profile on the company and CEO Ben Silbermann that explores a couple different possibilites: Like The Fancy, they could try to make a commission off products purchased through the site. Or, like Polyvore, they could ramp up advertising.

Pinterest says they're in no hurry to figure it out, though, preferring to focus on developing the platform for the time being and not worrying about how it's going to make money. But apparently some of Pinterest's top pinners are less patient, and are already hard at work on their own Pinterest business models.

According to FastCompany, product placement, which is currently a hot-button topic in the street style and blogging worlds, is already happening on the site. Satsuki Shibuya, a 31-year-old designer with a million plus followers, told the magazine she works directly with brands and gets paid between $150 and $1,200 when she pins an image of their products. She declined to say which brands, however, and as FastCompany puts it, "because paid pins look identical to unpaid ones, it's hard to guess." Similar to the early days of personal style blogging, the rules about transparency on Pinterest have yet to be established, much less enforced.

What do you think: Should regulations about transparency on Pinterest be established?
Would you like to see a "sponsored pin" indicator on Pinterest, similar to Twitter's model? Speak your mind in the comments.

· Can Ben Silbermann Turn Pinterest Into The World's Greatest Shopfront? [FastCompany]
· Is Product Placement in Street Style a Problem? [Racked]
· The Man Repeller Predicts a "Backlash" Against the Internet [Racked]