Category Archives: Pinterest

Two ways that Pinterest changed the Internet in 2012

 

Pinterest had a banner year in 2012. While Pinterest made dozens of substantial changes on their own platform, two key elements of Pinterest had a significant impact on the Internet as a whole.

 

Pinterest used automatic attribution to tame the Internet’s wild west attitude toward giving credit for creative content.

After being maligned early in 2012 as one of the biggest image misappropriaters,  Pinterest has made major strides to accurately attribute the content of the Internet back to its source.

Attribution could end up being Pinterest’s greatest legacy. When I talked to Ben Silbermann in February of 2012, attribution was on his mind. He hadn’t implemented automatic attribution tags on Pinterest yet, but he was already talking about the possablity of these types of tags being used across the entire Internet. Since then, Pinterest has worked with some of the largest social network and creative content hosting platforms to implement automatic attribution links with all pins that have content originating from these sites. The system uses an API and so far  the following sites are using this feature:

  • Flickr
  • YouTube
  • Behance
  • Vimeo
  • Etsy
  • Kickstarter
  • Slideshare
  • SoundCloud
  • 500px
  • Dreamstime

Some discussion of this topic from earlier this year. 

Pinterest’s ability to work with some of the most popular services on the web to better provide attribution for creators is one of the biggest long term change to come from Pinterest this year. Whether these attribution tags can be eventually extended out to other parts of the web remains a big question, but Pinterest making these tags a core part of there service paves the way for other services to consider including them.

More reading:

http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/13/pinterests-attribution-program-grows-dreamstime-joins-to-help-end-battle-over-watermarked-copyrighted-images/

http://llsocial.com/2012/06/pinterest-attribution-put-etsy-center-ecommerce-universe/

 

Every site on the Internet (ok, only most of them) incorporated some “Pinterest like” design.

Staggered chunks of content, whether images or anything else, became a design theme in 2012, and Pinterest deservidely got much of the credit. While other sites had previous used masonery design (thinking of many Tumblr themes), Pinterest’s success with a almost never ending page of staggered images got everyone chasing the benefits of masonry design.  eBayFacebook  and The Huffington Post all did “Pinterest like” designs, as did thousands of other sites around the Internet.

Whether this staggered approach works well for other sites and types of content has yet to be fully determined, but if you talked about website design in 2012 you likely used the phrase “Pinterest like” a number of times.

 

Can Pinterest bring any big changes for 2013? I would love to hear your thoughts.

 

Creating a secret pinterst board.png

Pinterest finally adds private boards. They are calling them “Secret Boards”.

Ben Silbermann sent an email out to Pinterest users tonight announcing a new feature: Secret Boards.

The boards appear at the bottom of your Pinterest page and are only viewable to you or to people you invite to pin to them.

Pinterest is starting out by providing each user three Secret Boards. While this may limit their usefulness as a containers for all your bookmarks, this feature has been the most requested for years, and it is great to see it finally implemented.

The boards themselves look like normal boards, but do have a padlock icon on the top of the page so you can distiguish between these boards and public ones.

Here are some screen captures I took to show the Secret Boards in action.

Pinterest Create a Secret Board. You can create up to three boards.png

Your secret board space at the bottom of your profile page.

Creating a secret pinterst board.png

Creating a secret pinterst board

Your Pinterest board shows up when you go to pin something.

Secret Pinterest boards look the same as normal boards with the exception of the padlock icon.

Secret Pinterest boards look the same as normal boards with the exception of the padlock icon

I was beginning to question if Pinterest would ever add private boards, so I am pretty excited to see this development.

What do you think about the ability to finally have private boards?

Your Twitter Friend Joined Pinterest Example

Pinterest redefining “friend” with new email alerts.

Last night Pinterest started sending emails to alert a user when someone who FOLLOWS them on Twitter,  joined Pinterest.

Pinterest, like Twitter, use a asynchronous follow model. I can follow someone on either network, and they don’t have to follow me back. If you have a public Twitter account, anyone in the world can follow you, but Pinterest is defining that relationship to indicate that those who follow you on Twitter are your “friends”.

On one level, I think this is useful. It is nice to know when someone who took the time to follow you on Twitter joins Pinterest, but Pinterest defining this as a “friend”, may be overreaching.

Additionally, for Twitter accounts that have a large number of followers it can be problematic with a large number of email alerts.

Example from my gmail inbox

After I posted about this change on Twitter last night, a social media manager from a large news/media organization tweeted to me that they certainly noticed the change with their Twitter created Pinterest account and over one million followers on Twitter.

While Pinterest offers a way to turn off these emails in the control panel, this media organization had to disconnect their Twitter account from Pinterest to make the emails stop. They turned off all the notification options, but the emails kept coming. This is likely an error on the Pinterest side of things that they will hopefully be able to resolve quickly.

How you are supposed to be able to turn off notifications.

LLsocial.com has been covering this issue and has details, advice and a link to a Pinterest survey you can fill out if you have been hacked

Mysterious cause of Pinterest user hacks remains unknown. Pinterest now locking accounts.

Since my last blog post on Pinterest users’ accounts being hacked, I have been discussing possible causes of the hack with affected users (see the 25 comments here). The hacking issue seems to be getting worse, and now Pinterest is proactively addressing this issue by locking down accounts that they determine are exhibiting suspicious activity.

Users are getting locked out of their accounts when a possible hack is detected by Pinterest.

On July 10th, Pinterest posted an update to their Account Security customer service page. This update acknowledged that simply changing your password did not always prevent your account from being hacked again. What they suggested that users do if changing the password didn’t work, was extreme.

  • If changing your password does not solve the issue, change your password again and immediately deactivate your account. Please return to this support article in 1-2 weeks for additional instructions; we are working on a process that will enable users to reset their accounts.
  • Unfortunately, we are unable to restore any deleted boards or pins.

Essentially, the user could lose all their pins, and Pinterest would get back to the user in 1 to 2 weeks.

On July 13th, Pinterest posted a new update. In it they let users know that Pinterest would be locking some accounts that had suspicious activity, and the post provided details on how to reset passwords. They indicated it would take several days to get accounts reopened, and they indicated that previous pins wouldn’t be lost.

Here is an example message a user would receive if their account is locked.

(screencap from @sfonzi5)

User survey provides clues into what Pinterest is investigating

On Monday (7/16), Pinterest published a support page that has a Google Docs survey on it. All users who are locked out or have had suspicious pins posted on their account are being asked to fill out the survey. Pinterest likely doesn’t know the exact cause of these hacks and is trying to use detail user feedback to determine what is causing these accounts to be compromised.

The questions in the survey seem to show that Pinterest is casting a broad net in terms of figuring out this issue. Topics in the survey include:

  • Compromised email, Facebook, or Twitter accounts
  • Gift certificates or rewards requiring a Pinterest Login as well as email phishing
  • Third party Pinterest clients and apps
  • How the user accesses Pinterest, even getting as detailed as different phone models
  • The use of antivirus software
  • Browser based 3rd party plugins, add-ons and tool bars

There is no mention of LinkedIn, LastFM or Yahoo accounts. I speculated in the comments of my last blog post , that someone could be using hacked information from those sites to access Pinterest user accounts. The survey questions would lead me to now believe that, that theory was incorrect.

If it was simply an issue of users not being careful with their password or clicking on compromised links, it is likely that Pinterest would not be digging as deep into this issue as they are.

Advice for Pinterest users

If you are hacked, changing your password is the best step to protect yourself.

If you are not hacked, you should be using a password that is unique to your Pinterest account.

At this point, I have to advise that you don’t enter any contests on Pinterest. While many people had their accounts hacked without clicking on anything, it seems that the Pinterest hacks hit the sweepstakes community particularly hard. The likely reason is clicking on hacked pins which are often promotional in nature.

Pinterest has published their own lists of ways to protect your pins. I recommend you check it out.

If you have been affected by the hack, you are welcome to post a comment with any details you think might help others figure out the cause. You can also comment in our active discussion here.

Update 7/21: Pinterest responds to IDG about the hacking. They say:

“We suspect this spam may be related to the recent leaks of credentials from other sites, which serves as an important reminder [for users] to have unique logins and passwords”

Avoid these images that appeared on hacked Pinterest boards accounts

Protect yourself from the newest hacking of Pinterest accounts.

Update 7/19: The article below is still relevant, and you should check out the comments for ongoing discussion, but I have another update about Pinterest locking accounts along with an official Pinterest hacking survey that all users who had their accounts hacked should complete.

Updated 7/8: Based on user experiences, if you have been hacked, the first thing you should do is change your Pinterest password. This worked for at least one of the Pinterest users who posted in our comments.

It is unclear how hackers are getting access to Pinterest accounts, but in the last three days there has been a number of signs that hacking is again becoming a problem on Pinterest.

Traffic to my post on the March hacking of Pinterest has increased considerably starting on July 5th, and you can find a number of people on Twitter complaining about being hacked.

A blogger for the Identify Theft Resource Center posted a hacking experience. This person believes the issues

might have started on Facebook.

Just now I happened to come across a Facebook post about how to make a very cool iPad case using wallpaper so I thought I would go ahead and pin it so I could check it out later. This is when the trouble began.

I have several different “boards” on my Pinterest to organize what I find online, but the board to which this particular link wanted to post to was called “Make Money Online”.  Fairly certain that I had not created that board, I logged into the site and found that several boards had been created and items had been pinned to them.  The pinned items, when clicked on, would lead someone to either an online job scam or a malware download.

Since I first published this article, two people shared their experiences in the comments, and neither of them believe that they got hacked by clicking something in Facebook.

Pinterest users have also been commenting on some of these hacked pins trying to figure out the issue. A sample of the comments include:

I have been deleting these. I get at least two a day now!

Glad to see I’m not the only one having this pop up on my account and unwanted at that! I’ve reported it every time with no kind of feedback! Every day it reappears under some other board that I didn’t create!

Blogger C McKane has a blog post with some tips on what to do if you account has been hacked.

I included some of the images the hackers have been using at the top of this post. Definitely don’t click on any pin that has these images in it.

If you account has been hacked, please share your story in the comments. If you have a guess as to why the hack might of happen, please post the details so others can avoid this issue.