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Pinterest starts displaying ads from Gap, Target, Kraft, and more

The social network for scrapbookers pops “promoted pins,” aka paid advertising, into users' search results and category feeds.

Pinterest's "promoted pins" will look like this. Pinterest

Pinterest has been planning to earn some money and the social network's users started seeing the byproduct of those efforts on Monday.

The virtual pinboard has followed examples set by Facebook and Twitter and introduced advertising into its fray. The company announced Monday that the ads come in the form of "promoted pins," which are sponsored by brands like Kraft, Target, Gap, General Mills, Nestle, Lululemon Athletica, and more.

This first batch of ads will pop up in users' search results and category feeds. Pinterest said it will do its best to ensure that promoted pins are tasteful and related to what users are interested in. It will also work to improve the promoted pins, if need be, based on user feedback.

"Tens of millions of people have added more than 30 billion Pins to Pinterest and brands are a big part of this," Pinterest head of partnerships Joanne Bradford wrote in a blog post. "Brands help people find inspiration and discover things they care about, whether it's ideas for dinner, places to go or gifts to buy. We hope Promoted Pins give businesses of all sizes a chance to connect with more Pinners."

Pinterest first revealed its plans to introduce promoted pins last September. For now, users will see ads only from the first batch of companies, but more brands are expected to be added in the future. Also, only US users will see the promoted pins but they could eventually roll out to other countries.