You’ve probably heard of it by now: Pinterest is social media’s newest sweetheart. Adored by ladies all over the world, the platform has drawn the attention of a whopping crowd: 11 million active members, among which an impressive 87% are women, put their interests, wish lists, achievements and indulgences on virtual display for the sake of …well, who knows, fame and noble-mindedness?
At first glance, Pinterest is flawless: visually attractive, diverse, sleek and easy-to-use, it enables you to collect all your favourite web items and arrange them into beautifully crafted pin boards: from recipes, to inspirational quotes, fashion must-haves, tech news and DIY tips, it’s all there. It’s like neatly placing tags on your home-made jam jars before storing it: unquestionably a rewarding feeling, no wonder women fancy it!
But before you rush to see what the fuss is all about and create an account, here’s a list of the things you should be aware of:
- 1. Copyright issues. Basically, when you add a ‘pin’ (an image or video) to your online board, you must have the legal right to share it, either as the owner of it or with permission from the original source. Why? Because others might share it or use it for commercial purposes and Pinterest clearly says members, individuals or businesses, are solely responsible for what they pin or repin.
- 2. Visual content is king. Like with any other social sharing site, things can easily get out of control: millions of users posting millions of videos or images that may have violent, offensive or racist character might negatively impact viewers, especially teens. For example, boards promoting the ‘thin-spiration’ trend with images of excessively thin young women are very popular and encourage dieting and exercising in order to lose weight, until achieving a ghostly appearance.
- 3. Limited access. In order to limit children’s exposure to inappropriate content, Pinterest has prohibited access for children under 13, yet chances are your kids are already browsing its pages. You can use a Parental Control app to find it out and if your underaged child is on Pinterest, you can restrict or ban his/her access to it. Comforting, isn’t it?
- 4. Also, the site is sovereign. It can use/modify your content in any way and can terminate your licence at any time given, for any reason or without any explanation. A bit of tyranny?
- 5. You take full responsibility. If you access a third party website, which might be malicious and infect your computer with a nasty virus, you are the only one to blame. You can never be too careful, so protecting your computer with an efficient antivirus program is vital for your safety. To learn more about the scams you might fall for, read this article.
Before you go, I found some pinteresting facts and tips that might come in handy or just stir your curiosity:
- 1. If you want to go against the ‘sharing’ stream, don’t let anyone repin your content by adding a small piece of code to the header in the html section of your page: <meta name="pinterest" content="nopin" />. When someone tries to ‘Pin It’ using the browser’s bookmarklet, this message will appear: This site doesn't allow pinning to Pinterest. Please contact the owner with any questions. Thanks for visiting!
- 2. The boards about products generate the most repins: clothes, jewellery, furniture, anything that appeals to the feminine audience.
- 3. More than 80% of all pins are actually repins, which means there’s little original content, yet the spread is amazing.
- 4. Etsy.com, the online market place is the leading source for pins, followed by google.com and flickr.com.
- 5. The most popular boards are ‘Elephants’ the Art category (source: Repinely) with almost 4 million followers and ‘Delicious’ with 3 million and a half repins (source: Pin Reach). Surprisingly - or not - one is about elephants made from unconventional materials and the other about food.
To avoid getting into trouble and become a role model pinner within the community, you should follow this ‘Pin Etiquette’: be respectful and authentic, credit your sources by linking to the original source and report any offensive or harmful content to protect fellow members. For more information on this topic, check out the site’s Terms of Service.
So, despite these flaws, are you planning to create a Pinterest account?