In my discussion this week with Ben Silbermann, the CEO of Pinterest, he laid out a number of future plans for the site, and three of them have been implemented in the past few days.
Pinterest has . . .
- Clarified their business model with disclosure to users of potential monetization efforts.
- Released code that web publishers can use to prevent their images from being pinned to Pinterest.
- Placed a characters limit on the captions of pins.
Aside from the disclosure of possible monetization efforts, the other two changes have been in the works for a while.
Pinterest now allows websites to opt-out.
This week I wrote about Pinterest’s potential copyright violations. Pinterest is taking these issues seriously and implementing changes to better allow publishers to opt-out of Pinterest.
Pinterest made an addition to their help section called “What if I don’t want images from my site to be pinned?”:
We have a small piece of code you can add to the head of any page on your site:
<meta name=”pinterest” content=”nopin” />
When a user tries to pin from your site, they will see this message:
“This site doesn’t allow pinning to Pinterest. Please contact the owner with any questions. Thanks for visiting!”
I question how many sites will use this code, given the popularity of Pinterest, but Pinterest is trying to address copyright issues in a proactive way. This code still doesn’t prevent users from downloading copies of images and then uploading them. It also doesn’t stop users from pinning images that were stolen and published on another site. That said, it is a good first step. Ben outlined some other steps they are working on for the future, but even this one step shows a real commitment to being a fair and progressive player in the copyright space.
500 character limit added to pin captions.
Of all the changes this week, the character limit will most affect users, and generally in a positive way.
As new people have been joining Pinterest, some of them haven’t quite understood the site, or at least tried to use it in their own unique way. Some pinners were copying the text of blog posts into the pin captions. Since Pinterest previously didn’t have a character limit, these pins could go on for pages and pages. Ben Silbermann told me that recipes were particularly problematic and that posting full recipes didn’t reflect the intent of Pinterest which is to have users go to the original source of the image. Ben indicated they didn’t want to be as character restrictive as Twitter, but they did want to find the right balance.
For now they are testing a character limit of 500.