Pinterest is a new site, and, as with all sites that get too big a little too fast, it’s going through some growing pains. Many websites across the Internet are protesting about the site’s users pinning things to the online pinboard without permission. This and other issues are forcing Pinterest to adjust its policies, and if you are using the site to market online, you need to be aware of the current changes so you don’t get in trouble. Let’s look at some of the biggest changes the megasite has made recently.
New Website Opt-Out Code
In its help section, Pinterest has added a line of code that website owners can use which prevents users from pinning content from the sites to their pinboards. When users see something they like, and they attempt to pin it, they will now find that a dialog box pops up informing them that pinning the item is not allowed. This is great for websites that don’t want their content shared, and if you have certain things you don’t want added to Pinterest, this is a great way to prevent unauthorized pinning. For instance, if you run an internet marketing blog or membership site, you can use the code to prevent people from pinning information from “members only” areas of your site so it’s not viewable by the public.
Pin Caption Character Limit
Before these updates were implemented, pin captions could run as long as users wanted. They could pin entire recipes or articles, no matter how long they were. The CEO of Pinterest, Ben Silbermann, explained this week that the purpose of Pinterest is for users to visit the sites of pins that interest them to find out more about the items pinned.
Copying and pasting entire blog posts or recipes goes against the intent of the site, according to Silbermann, so the character limit effectively prevents this from happening. Users will now have to visit the site to find out more. This means if you are using the pins for marketing reasons, make sure to include the parts of content you think people would be interested in the most in order to entice them to click through to your site. The character limit for pin captions has been adjusted to 500, but Silbermann says this number may change after testing results.
Pinterest and Affiliate Links
If you’re an Internet marketer who follows social media news, then you’re likely already aware that Pinterest was called out by various Internet news sources for using a service called Skimlinks to change links in pins to affiliate links. This allowed Pinterest to pocket the commissions for any products or services with an affiliate program that users clicked through and purchased – yes, even on Amazon. Even this is not transparent on the Pinterest home page, there is a notice about the practice in its Disclaimer. Your links will likely be changed by Pinterest, but you can go through and replace the changed links with your affiliate ID – for now.