Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Take a deep breath: Pinterest updated their T&Cs


Did you hear that? It was the big sigh of relief from marketing managers, bloggers, photographers, and Pinterest enthusiasts everywhere.  Yes, Pinterest has changed their Terms & Conditions as announced on March 24.
Many of you have probably seen the above image (sans my lovely editing) and read the original article from The Window Seat which highlighted some of the legal dangers and risks of pinning. The article received over 400,000 views and was even pinned 45,000 times. Legal gurus and worrywarts fretted in their seats coming up with hypothetical legal cases while deleting their pins, while major publications continued to write about and magnified the perceived issue with Pinterest. 

I decided to equate this fear with Y2K (remember that?) and kept on pinning. In comparison to the growing pains of other social media platforms, I felt it was obvious Pinterest was working hard to embrace their new found growth across all areas of the social community. In my opinion, the negative attention simply helped expedite the progress they were already making. In the last few weeks alone, there have been numerous updates to the UI, profile page, and mobile app so it was just a matter of time this hotly debated topic was next. As stated by Ben himself:
 Over the last few weeks, we've been working on an update to our Terms. When we first launched Pinterest, we used a standard set of Terms. We think that the updated Terms of Service, Acceptable Use Policy, and Privacy Policy are easier to understand and better reflect the direction our company is headed in the future. We'd encourage you to read these changes in their entirety, but we thought there were a few changes worth noting.
Now we all know reading the Terms & Conditions can be a very daunting [re: boring] task and most of us blindly hit "Accept" eager to get to the next screen. So for those of you that have been following along, here is a recap of some of the most important changes along with my social commentary, which will go into effect on April 6:
  • What Pinterest Says: Our original Terms stated that by posting content to Pinterest you grant Pinterest the right for to sell your content. Selling content was never our intention and we removed this from our updated Terms.
    My take: Don't worry, your artsy shot of your Sunday Brunch or the generic beach scene will NOT become stock photography.
  • What Pinterest Says: We updated our Acceptable Use Policy and we will not allow pins that explicitly encourage self-harm or self-abuse. 
My take: Thank. You. It really grinds my gears when I am simultaneously pinning high-calorie recipes and workout tips and come across that stupid image of Kate Moss saying "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels." Obviously she never tasted ice cream, cheese, or Nutella. Aka, this will help cut down on the amount of girls encouraging each other with pro-ana tips.
  • What Pinterest Says: We released simpler tools for anyone to report alleged copyright or trademark infringements. [Updated form & updated policy].
My take: If you installed the do not pin code to your site, this will help. Or if you are the marketing manager for Starbucks and a super fan already created an account claiming to be Starbucks. And in extreme cases, someone is blatantly ripping content off your blog and posting it to theirs then pinning it back to their site in hopes to drive traffic.
  • What Pinterest Says: Finally, we added language that will pave the way for new features such as a Pinterest API and Private Pinboards.
My take: This will open the door to a ton of really cool ideas, integrations, and 3rd party applications that seek to enhance the Pinterest experience. And private pin boards means you can actually plan a party, source inspirational images, and curate a marketing promotion privately, before you want the rest of the world to know. 
And the final note:
Like everything at Pinterest, these updates are a work in progress that we will continue to improve upon. We're working hard to make Pinterest the best place for you to find inspiration from people who share your interest. We've gotten a lot of help from our community as we've crafted these Terms.
In other words, keep the feedback coming but puh-lease, be patient, stay positive, and know they are working as fast as humanly possible while creating a sustainable business and inspirational community. If you are still interested in the finer details, read the follow-up post from The Window Seat.

Happy pinning and of course if you aren't already, follow me!

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