Category Archives: legal issues

Pinterest – What’s the Interest?

 

Two days ago, my group, Social Marketing Rx (SMRx), held a casual discussion about Pinterest. We shared our beginning use of Pinterest as well as ways small and big businesses are using it to promote their brand.


First, Pinterest is based in, none other than, Palo Alto, CA and it is a social media site based on images and now includes the ability to post videos. A person, or brand, can create a page, put up a profile and follow others. The cool factor is how one uses Pinterest. It’s all about pinning images or repinning them to virtual boards. Each board, or topic, can be segmented by the title, such as ‘My Life’, ‘My Style’, or in my case, ‘Portfolio’, ‘Social Media’, etc. People can follow all of your boards, or just specific boards.


Some interesting statistics include how fast it has grown since it’s inception in 2010, only two years ago. It is suspected to have approximately 13+ million users and it has been reported to be the fastest growing social media site EVER! 


Who are all these users anyway? Well, one article, Pinterest and International eCommerce, states that most users live in the United States, that they are mostly female ages 35-44 with some college education and make between $25-$49k per year. The UK demographic is a quite a bit different. The majority of Pinterest users are male, and a bit younger, between 25-34, and make $100-$150k or more per year. 


One of the most interesting facts I found was the difference between the US and the UK in terms of interests being pinned the most.


United States Top Pinterest Interests

  • Crafts
  • Gifts and Special Event Items
  • Hobbies and Leisure
  • Interior Design
  • Fashion Designers and Collectors
  • Blogging Resources and Services
United Kingdom Top Pinterest Interests 
  • Venture Capital
  • Blogging Resources and Services 
  • Crafts Design
  • Web Stats and Analytics
  • SEO and Marketing
  • Content Management
  • Public Relations
Our group discussion comprised of 8 people from the United States and one lovely gal from the UK. What she shared with us that according to what she has seen, and from the Brit’s perspective, American women, in general, are seen to have what they call the “Martha Stewart” mentality. So, not only do women have to work to bring in a second income, but apparently, we also have to bake a perfect cake, have the perfectly tidy home and all that goes along with that persona. (Talk about stress!) So, it didn’t surprise her that the interests of the US demographic on Pinterest were mostly made up as they were listed above.
 
We also discussed the legality and copyright issues facing Pinterest. One gal, Tiffany, in our group is a photographer and we suggested watermarking her photos if she ever decides to start her own portfolio board. Pinterest users, like Tiffany, are questioning whether or not they want to use this popular social media tool at all, much less for business. On one hand, the skyrocketing search engine results for blogs and businesses are staggering, but on the other hand, at what cost? If Pinterest is holding the end user completely liable for copyright infringement whenever they pin or repin an image, this could open the floodgates for countless lawsuits.
 
I can upload and pin my own content as well as public domain content, but if I do not obtain explicit permission from the owner of a website to pin, or repin, their content, I could be sued for copyright infringement. Yikes! It sure makes me rethink whether or not I want to share anything. How do I know where ‘that image’ came from originally? 
 
To summarize, we all decided to proceed with caution, some may delete some of our boards all together, some may append our boards and include the URL of the source, some may plod on and see what happens. 
 
Facebook‘s Friendsheet, Path and others are jumping on the image pinning bandwagon, but the issues have not been finalized, so who knows where this new craze will end up. Until then, pin on…


Oh, one last thing…not only do you need to beware of Pinterest copyright issues, you now have to beware of scams now, too.
 
I’d love to hear more about your points of view on Pinterest, how you are using it for business and/or personal and what you think about all the legal issues coming up. I’m on Facebook and Twitter.
 

With gratitude,
Michelle Ulrich

About the Author: Michelle Ulrich is the President of Virtual Business Marketing specializing as a Digital Marketing and Communications Consultant. Her passion is to help small business owners be seen, be heard and be remembered. She is also the co-founder and Executive Director of Social Marketing Rx, your prescription for marketing success and best practices. In addition, Michelle is also a HootSuite Ambassador for the North American Region. For more information about the author, please visit: http://virtualbusinessmarketing.com/about-us/

Disclaimer: I am not blogging on behalf of Pinterest and did not receive compensation for my time from Pinterest for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine, not Pinterest’s.