Pinterest Terms & Conditions

My love for Pinterest runs deep. It was an easy selection this week to review its terms and conditions. I’m glad that Pinterest didn’t disappoint. Its policies were by far the most user friendly compared to Facebook and Twitter. It also wasn’t a dreadful read like the others were.

Pinterest made this area of its site more user friendly by breaking the policies up into sections with large headings. The font was a reasonable size. The biggest difference was that it included a box next to every section that gave the same description but in layman’s terms. The biggest turn off for reading these types of documents is that not many understand what they are reading.

Pinterest provided the required legalese but then helped the everyday person out by dumbing down the language into something we can all understand. Pinterest has a legal obligation to protect itself with binding language, but it did its users a favor by making a page that someone might actually want to read.

One thing I found surprising was Pinterest requires businesses to have a business profile and not a personal profile. I knew business accounts were available but I didn’t know it was mandated. Shhh don’t tell but I currently run a business account through a personal one. Maybe I need to look into changing that.

Pinterest operates with a copyright policy to protect itself. It’s become a lot easy to take another’s work and claim it as your own and Pinterest knows it has to combat that. It doesn’t want to come under fire for a user posting material they shouldn’t. I’m not sure Pinterest would be able monitor absolutely everything, so this policy and complaint process will help cover the company when copyright issues arise.

Another safeguard that Pinterest has to put in place is not making itself responsible if a questionable or inappropriate third-party site is linked from the platform. Again it boils down to not being able to monitor everything at the rate things are pinned.

Pinterest did a great job explaining how it uses the information it tracks for each user. I do find it a bit unethical that it can track the web pages I visit if that site has a Pinterest feature. But I do give them credit for offering up an option where that off-Pinterest data option can be turned off. The normal user that doesn’t read the terms won’t have any idea that Pinterest does this or that you can turn it off.

It doesn’t seem that the Pinterest terms cover as much as Facebook and Twitter. I did feel that it was lacking a bit in substance but I can’t quite pinpoint what it was missing.



6 thoughts on “Pinterest Terms & Conditions

  1. I agree, Pinterest’s TOS are very easy to understand, which makes me feel less like they are trying to pull a fast one on me. But like you said, it does feel like something is missing – i.e., what’s the catch? I also see a lot f copyrighted material on Pinterest, so I wonder how exactly they are monitoring it. I have only ever had one pin taken down by Pinterest because it was copyright infringement (it was only a picture of fruit…?).

    1. It seems Pinterest is only monitoring copyrighted content when someone reports it to them. I can’t believe your picture of fruit was taken down. I feel like I have had something removed as well but it was just a repin from someone else. The annoyance I have with Twitter is someone will take a popular pin and post it to their own website with a link to the actual, original content. So it takes you multiple clicks to then get to what you really want to see. I find that pretty unethical but I’m not sure there’s a way for Pinterest to keep people from doing it.

  2. I’m seeing a good trend for end-users on Terms & Conditions pages.

    Like LinkedIn and Twitter, Pinterest has added “layman” boxes to help decipher the legalese of each section on the T&C page. This is a nice touch and allows everyday people – not just attorneys, thank you – to get a better handle on the terms these social platforms expect from users.

    I do wonder about the motivation behind a move like this. Does it benefit the social platform in some way?

    An argument can be made that, yes, the layman boxes take away the excuse of “I didn’t understand the terms” from users. There is a greater onus placed on the user to read the T&C since the terms are now simplified.

    On the flip side, the user also benefits from the breakdown of the terms. The user knows exactly what he or she is getting into when using the platform, and the simplification of the “law talk” can reach more people more effectively.

    1. Dave… I think the benefit of making T&C’s more user friendly is to get more users to read the agreements. When cases arise and T&C’s are brought into question, the user has a better chance of understanding the rule they broke and can’t make the claim that they didn’t understand. This will reflect in favor of the social media platform at that point.

  3. Stacy,

    I agree that Pinterest being able to track our movements on websites that has a Pinterest feature, but how is that really much different than Google? Maybe it’s just a comfort thing with Google since they have been doing it for so long.

    I found it interesting that Pinterest requires companies to have a specific business profile, but I can see the reasoning behind it (at least what I think it could be). By not allowing individuals to post as representatives of a business it allows the users more control over what they see. It also could help monetize Pinterest in the future with “promoted Pins” ect.

    1. You make a great point Casey. I think we all forget about Google and all that they track. I think the T&C’s fall on each website that we visit and not on Google because it is the website that is implementing the analytics’ tracking.

      I did just switch our Pinterest account here at work to a business account. I didn’t like that I was breaking a rule and I found out that analytics are offered for business accounts. I’m sold!

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