Pinterest's new offer: It's business, not personal

The popular site aims to draw in more big companies with an offer of business-specific accounts.

Charles Cooper Former Executive Editor / News
Charles Cooper was an executive editor at CNET News. He has covered technology and business for more than 25 years, working at CBSNews.com, the Associated Press, Computer & Software News, Computer Shopper, PC Week, and ZDNet.
Charles Cooper

"It's business, not personal."

That's the message from Pinterest today. Taking another step to cash in on its growing popularity, the company began allowing users to transfer their existing accounts to business accounts.

As Liz Gannes points out smartly, this represents a change in the company's terms of service. But it's hardly a shocker given the company's blistering growth. In September, Pinterest made it onto Comscore's monthly ranking of the 50 most visited Internet sites as it surpassed 25 million visitors for the month.

The company's moves are an invitation to big brands and retailers, a strategy that fits with company founder Ben Silbermann's assiduous pursuit of ways to cash in on the site's success. A recent Fast Company profile described the company as "the Internet's latest Great Revenue-Generating Hope, at a time of extreme skepticism about newfangled ad-based business models." (To that end, the company has hired several execs away from Facebook, including Don Faul, who formerly ran global online operations, and Tim Kendall, formerly in charge of Facebook's money-making strategy.

In making the change, the company trotted out several case studies and testimonials from Allrecipes, Etsy, Jetsetter, Organized Interiors and Petplan to promote the move. Heather Cleveland, the founder of Organized Interiors, said the change helped her more "visually promote my own work in a very cost effective way" as well as better promote her blog with images.