Opt-Out of Pinterest: Problem Solved or Created?

By February 21, 2012

Pinterest, everyone’s favorite new social network, is making some changes this week that allow websites to opt-out of having their images pinned. Pinterest recently updated their help section and included the snippet of code to block pinning. It seems that the Company created this option to prevent a potential lawsuit from the owner’s of copyrighted material, but will this move stunt the massive growth the Company has seen over the past year?

Pinterest opt-out code

Unlike Facebook, Twitter, and other popular social media platforms, Pinterest has the problem of being “the new kid on the block.” With the entire digital world watching in awe at the growth of the Company, it’s no wonder that many are raising issues of copyrighted material and broken Terms of Service by nearly every user on the site. As Josh Davis points out, Pinterest’s Terms of Service exclusively states that users must be the sole owner of all content they pin on the site. Considering that the Company saw a growth over 4000% in the last six months, I think it’s fair to say they have had a hard time scaling the policing of users who might be pinning copyrighted material.

Generally speaking the people behind this push for an opt-out option are presumably photographers. It makes sense for photographers and artists to be upset about the illegal pinning of their copyrighted material. This opt-out option is a practical solution to the problem, and will hopefully solve part of Pinterest’s copyright concerns.

With over 10 million unique vistors, it’s safe to say that Pinterest drives traffic from pinned images. Anyone familiar with eCommerce understands that in order to increase sales you must first increase traffic. Many popular brands including Michaels, Food Network, and even Zales are seeing dramatic increases in traffic from becoming active members on Pinterest.

I doubt this opt-out feature will harm or stunt the growth of the platform. Users love the amazing user experience, organization, and discovery they experience on the site. The majority of growth is stemming from Pinterest’s amazing product that people love and can’t wait to tell their friends about. Brands would be insane to opt-out of having their products pinned on Pinterest. They would essentially be losing out on some amazing traffic generation and sales leads.