Last week saw the launch of the new business resources and tools offered by Pinterest. One of the fastest growing social media networks, it seems like the changes have come just at the right time…but what exactly are the changes?
Well, we can report…not very many. The basics are slightly different. Instead of typing in a first and last name, you can use your business name…a basic that sort of needs no explaining…but we have to cover it because that’s basically it in the way of changes right now. You can also verify your website by using a hidden line of coding that is produce and synced to your account. This ‘syncing,’ when the code is recognised, offers a verification badge on your profile, creating a more solid business presence. Companies that already have a Pinterest account for their business can covert over the existing profile to a business one.
When you go through the sign-up or converting process you will be faced with the encouragement of embedding widgets onto your page. This is a completely new feature, but alas, not just one that is available for companies. It is also being rolled out to the personal accounts, so nothing that separates the business sign up. You will also be encouraged to add pint it or follow buttons onto your business site so as to create the sense of brand loyalty – obviously Pinterest want something in return for creating business tools, and a click back is their way of doing this.
Whilst it doesn’t sound like much of a change, as all the basic features are offered to both business and personal usage of the site, there is a promise from Pinterest to the business sector side. You will receive emails informing you of any and all changes and updates for future products and resources, as well as have some say on what features you would like to see Pinterest use. For the now though, there are no analytics on site, no scheduling tool as of yet, nor can you even link your Pinterest site to a business page or fan site on Facebook yet.
Whilst it can’t be a bad thing to create more of a business presence on the site, there isn’t much that Pinterest are currently offering in the way of doing this. On paper, the developments and future products would be more beneficial, so we are keeping an eye out on these and we’ll update as soon as we know more.
Last week, Pinterest emailed its users with updated Terms of Service expressly changing their policy to remove the clause stating that any content pinned to the site became theirs to sell. For those not aware of Pinterest and the flutter it’s causing across the World Wide Web, here’s a quick breakdown:
Pinterest is a visual bookmarking system that allows you to save an image you see anywhere on the internet to a ‘pin board’ that you create on Pinterest. You can create multiple pin boards to cover any subject you wish, pin as many pictures as you like with each single picture a visual representation of why you’d wanted to bookmark the page. You share every picture you pin with every other user and all your pins can be repined to their own boards without restriction, creating an incredible source for inspirational pictures. Now consider this; as a lighting retailer your website will have good quality pictures of wall lights available. I, as a consumer and user of Pinterest, like one of your products but can’t afford it right now, so I pin it to my dining room pin board along with the price so I can find it again as soon as I have the money. Now, as a Pinterest user, I have over 300 active followers for my dining room pin board. Let’s say that 10% repin that picture. If 10% of their followers repin that picture, your product just went viral. It’s believed that 80% of content on Pinterest is recycled repined pictures and it’s not unheard of for a single picture to generate over a thousand repins. Compare that to the 1.4% of tweets that are retweeted and you can see, as a social media network, people are actively interacting with other user’s content on an enormous scale.
Prior to the change in Terms of Service, that picture I pinned would have been available to Pinterest as a sellable item. The Terms of Service state that users should only pin pictures that are theirs to pin, i.e. only pin your own pictures. Unfortunately, almost nobody who uses Pinterest appears to have taken this in to account and users pin everything they love regardless of copyright issues. Pinterest have made simpler tools available for users to report alleged copyright or trademark infringements but deciding on whether copyright has been breached can be a difficult decision. Pinterest is careful to link back to the original source of the picture, hence the bookmarking nature of the site, but if the user is pinning content from a site such as Tumblr where the source may not be correctly listed it’s all too easy for the copyright link to be lost. With the rise in concern over copyright issues and infringement recently due to America’s attempts to restrict the entire internet, these problems are becoming something that sites such as Pinterest are very interested in addressing. Users will need to take note and ensure they comply with copyright requirements.
Pinterest is a sleek, easy to use site with a great app, making content accessible and repinable on smartphones. A browser plug-in allows you to pin content from any webpage you’re visiting without requiring access to Pinterest itself and companies are beginning to see the commercial value of the site and the number of ‘paid pinners’ is rising. Pinterest can actively increase your site’s traffic, with over 16.23 million unique visitors in February alone a single image pinned to Pinterest could do wonders for your business. Stats now show that Pinterest drives more traffic than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined, so pinning your own products could prove incredibly beneficial.