Will Pinterest prove its worth in 2015?

The next year will be the most important one of Pinterest’s life. Until now, the company has focused on its application and its audience, to the detriment of its coffers. It had the luxury to ignore money because it raised a nosebleed $764 million in venture funding to sustain itself. Like most adventurous startups, the money was raised on an unrealized, untested, uncertain premise: That advertising on a visual inspiration application would be highly lucrative.

Come New Year’s Day, that hypothesis will be put to the test for the first time on a large scale. After endless preparation, Pinterest’s year of reckoning has arrived.

In 2015, any brands will be able to do native advertising on Pinterest by paying to promote pins that appear alongside regular Pinterest content. Companies can use Pinterest’s reservation-based system, paying set prices to make sure their ads appear in people’s feeds. The auction-based system, where advertisers bid against each other, is still in beta.

Pinterest has been beta testing reservation-based promoted pins with a select group of partners since September 2013, moving slowly to make sure it nailed its advertising process and didn’t scare off users. According to Pinterest’s blog post about the wider-scale release, the beta test was hugely successful. Like regular pins, promoted pins are shared an average of 11 times, resulting in additional free impressions for advertisers (they only cough up money for the initial impression). These pins continue to be seen and shared after the advertiser stops paying to promote them.

The quiet social company decided to herald its big advertising news when the least amount of people would see it: Over the holiday break. It broke the story by publishing a blog post that ran at the same time as a New York Times feature on the news.

This is par for the course for Pinterest. The company regularly holds big parties at its office to celebrate the introduction of new product features, but when it comes to its revenue stream it prefers not to raise a fuss.

It’s possible that Pinterest is nervous about its reckoning moment and wants to experiment with advertising outside the prying eyes of the public. It’s hard to get to a $5 billion valuation in Silicon Valley without having brought in a cent of revenue. At this point, the stakes are high for Pinterest’s investors and the path is risky.

In the next twelve months, we’ll learn for the first time whether investors overvalued Pinterest or if the company is worth the war chest of funding it’s sitting on. If it’s the latter, [company]Google[/company] better look out. It has another rival creeping up to compete in the category of search.

Pinterest’s image-heavy application may give it a distinct advertising edge in the visual web.

Small Biz Corner: Email Campaign Software

Welcome to a new monthly series from TheAppleBlog. Each month we will cover a a specific topic specific to Small Businesses who use Macs.

As a small business owner/sole proprietor, connecting with customers is hard. There are all sorts of communication tools available, with social media being the most prevalent today. However, as old-school as it might seem, email is still the killer-app for the web. And, given that, you must have a strategy to connect with your customers via email. Thankfully, there are many tools on the Mac available to help you do just that. Read More about Small Biz Corner: Email Campaign Software

Campaign Monitor for Sending Pro E-mail Campaigns

How do you deal with telling all your clients you’ll be on vacation, that you’re offering a new service or special rates, or any other important piece of news for that matter? What if you’d like to send out a regular e-newsletter? Without certain programming skills, it’s a challenge. And not all of us web workers are programmers.

I have a new toy, and today is Show and Tell.

campaignmonitorlogoThe company is CampaignMonitor. I looked around for easy-to-use and affordable options for sending mass html e-mails and found plans that were too expensive for my needs, or tools that required more IT knowledge than I had. I needed to send a nice-looking e-mail newsletter to members of the social network I launched because the mass e-mail feature included with the platform I use is just pathetic.

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Sarah Palin Pranked, Campaign Condensed: NTV Station Today

Tomorrow’s Election Day, which means this is the last day of the campaign and a fine time for retrospection. You probably don’t have a lot of time, though, so let’s remember the 2008 Presidential Campaign in 1 minute, courtesy of comedy mavericks 23/6.

Over the weekend, you might have heard about that Sarah Palin prank call — in which the Masked Avengers fooled the Alaskan Governor with their President Nicolas Sarkozy imitation. But why is it that YouTube is the best place to hear the audio from that call? Check out our theories over on NewTeeVee Station!

Weekend Vid Picks: McCain and Obama’s Back and Forth

It’s honestly a little scary to imagine what online video is going to be like in, say, October, given that it’s the first day of August, and the election is pretty much one of the only topics of discussion on the table. They haven’t even picked vice presidents yet, people! Can’t we simmer down just a little?

This week at least, the answer is no. Congressman McCain got mean on Wednesday with Celeb, an ad which compares Senator Obama’s celebrity status to that of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. Low blow, sir, and not terribly accurate. If only because Obama has never forgotten to wear underwear at a Vegas nightclub.

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