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12 more tweaks Pinterest should make in 2012

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Pinterest could be even better

We introduced you to Pinterest last fall, not only showing how the sharing network functions but how it can be used in business, and recently we offered invitations to the private network as well as solid ideas for boards that professionals can create to earn influence on Pinterest, we have also named the company one of the 60 Genius Brands to watch in 2012, so we are closely watching the growth explosion right before our eyes.

Last week, we suggested 30 improvements that visual bookmarking site, Pinterest could make, rather than rehashing why the site is so amazing and addictive. We took a look at the network from a more critical perspective in hopes that these suggestions help the growing site to continue improving so as not to lose steam. The suggestions for improvements are broken down by category and described in detail – we invite you to share additional suggestions in the comments below.

  1. It would be great if my comment response could be another picture embedded in comments like tumblr. I find that sometimes I respond to emails or tweets with a simple picture of a meme like Hipster Kitty, All The Things or Conspiracy Keanu. Please let me be more clever, Pinterest, I promise to make your site more fun!
  2. Perhaps Facebook has made us all lazy, but could we pretty please have a “like” button for comments? I feel compelled to craft a response to every comment left on anything I repin and I just don’t have the mental fortitude. Again, blame Facebook.
  3. Could you please allow us to see our relationship histories? I would like to see that William Carlos Williams is mostly interested in my housing stories, as he has repinned most of them, liked several of them and commented on two of them. I would like to know that AGBeat readers are drawn more to one board than another. This goes back to my original request for metrics – show me what my relationships look like when I go to that user’s profile.
  4. I have had three emails from separate people asking me to set up a board and curate it so they can see it. One person asked me to set up a board about preppy fashion because he’s ditching his current look, another asked for a board about cat humor specifically, and another about sustainable interior design separate from my main decor board. Pinterest, could you please add a “request board from user” or “suggest board ideas to other users” feature?
  5. When a new user signs up, please don’t follow in Twitter’s footsteps and push them into following your power users. It’s offensive, let me find my own users, and don’t play favorites. New users can connect with others on the main page and build from there.
  6. On the invitation email you send out on my behalf, could you please make it less about me? “Come check out my stuff” is not exactly how I would talk, rather I would invite a new person to come share with me. It just feels icky.
  7. Could we please get a dislike or an “eww” button? It’s not a report, it’s just telling our friends that their pictures of hangnails or velvet pants suits are not awesome.
  8. Let’s add a legitimate repin history to Pinterest. Google+ has done it and it is possible to track the origin and history of a link. I would even settle for just knowing the origin of the repin, where a link appeared first in the ecosystem.
  9. Pinterest, could I please just search pins and boards from my friends? Someone pinned a gluten-free cupcake recipe the other day, but I cannot find it because I have to shuffle through all one bajillion users’ pins.
  10. When I enter a board and I click to see one specific pin, I would love to have a “next” arrow so that I don’t have to click on the tiny pictures on the board or go back out to the main board. I’d like to start at the beginning, because some people are using the site as a form of storytelling which is difficult to navigate.
  11. In our list of 30 suggestions, Kim Hollenshead commented that she would like stability on the iPhone, a complaint we have heard a lot about.
  12. Also, Stephanie Crawford suggested that users be offered an embed code for a board or a pin to be copied and pasted on to another website. Houzz.com has accomplished this, so we assume Pinterest could easily implement as well.

This concludes our love letter to Pinterest. We are suggesting improvements so that our favorite new network can thrive and grow. Tell us in the comments what changes you would like to see.

Lani is the Chief Operating Officer at The American Genius - she has co-authored a book, co-founded BASHH and Austin Digital Jobs, and is a seasoned business writer and editorialist with a penchant for the irreverent.

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30 Comments

30 Comments

  1. Deidre

    January 26, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    Love this and love Pinterest. Number 12 is a big one for me, I want to be able to embed boards onto blogs or individual blog posts.

  2. jenna

    January 27, 2012 at 2:33 am

    As far as #11 is concerned, they could follow in Juxtapost's footsteps. Juxtapost has an instant preview that pops up while your scrolling through. That way i don't lose my place and see it zoomed it.

    I ended up going with juxtapost also because i can do private postboards. surely pinterest knows not everything has to be shared.

  3. Julia

    January 27, 2012 at 8:14 am

    More sophisticated search, even if just a little, e.g. search by keyword PLUS board type. If I have some old books that no one wants, I know someone out there has some pretty cool crafts out there to make from them. But if I search for "book" or "book craft" guess what I get?

    If they encouraged (i.e. provided an intuitive way to do it) people to pin with "ingredient" tags then you could search that way as well, whether it be items needed to make a craft, a recipe, a room, etc.

  4. psfcondo

    January 27, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    I think having a list of pinners who are the best in each category would be great, We made a great list of fashion, lifestyle and brand pinterest users to follow at https://www.pinnerstofollow.com/, hopefully it is useful!"

  5. Robin Barr

    March 23, 2012 at 8:02 pm

    I prefer the previous format from the change a week or so ago. Longer board names are cut off, often the last pinned item which becomes the top larger pic, is cut off too. More, it’s more natural to view the boards going down, not across. This is still dis-orienting me a little. Intensely dislike the change.

  6. kc

    April 20, 2012 at 2:17 am

    Amen to needing a more sophisticated search…I would expect at the very least to be able to limit a search to individual board/user/category/originating site.

    And I’ve complained bitterly to PInterest already about the tediousness of making changes. Have you tried breaking out a board into smaller categories. Excruciating!

    In my dream pinterest universe, I shoudl be able to search my recipe board for all my Quinoa recipes, then click of little boxes next to the ones I want to move to a new “Quinoa Recipes” board, then jsut say “move checked items” and done. This is the normal expectation almost everywhere!

  7. elijoh

    April 27, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    I’d really like a bulk move option. As I pin more things, I often find I’d like to separate a board into two but it would just take way too long to move each pin one at a time.

  8. luckylou

    July 20, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    I’d love to have a Hide button that would remove or minimize pins in my feed I don’t want to see. Too many people pin things I don’t want to see but occasionally pin a good one. I don’t want my feed cluttered with crap, just things I like to see. A Hide button would enable a much prettier stream.

  9. Payday loan in Colorado

    November 20, 2012 at 1:35 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to discuss this,would you mind updating your blog with more information? It is extremely helpful for me.

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Social Media

*New* TikTok Insights launch: Content creators finally get audience analytics

(SOCIAL MEDIA) The popular short-form app, TikTok, finally launches the anticipated Insights feature, where content creators can view target audience data.

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Two girls filming on TikTok.

Marketers searching for the zeitgeist which means TikTok scrollers pause to watch their content and then click through to buy a product have a new tool to help make that happen.

  • TikTok Insights offers marketers bite-size bits of user demographic information that will help build content that leads to sales.
  • With TikTok Insights you can learn more about your audience’s behavior, their interests, and their general sentiment toward brands.
  • TikTok Insights is free to use. Marketers can find TikTok user demographics by using filters to determine what they’re looking for.

The demographic info can be age-focused, focused on specific types of marketing, or even as specific as holiday or event marketing.

This is a step in the direction marketers have been asking for as they create content for the TikTok platform; however, creators looking for detailed analytics like they get from meta need to wait. Insights doesn’t offer that for now.

Like TikTok says in its own analytic information,

“While analytics are helpful in understanding the performance of your videos, you don’t need to create future videos based primarily around them. It’s best to consider the bigger picture, lean lightly on analytics, and use them as a source for insight rather than strategy.”

Marketers trying to key into reaching TikTok’s billion users worldwide are left, right now, searching for the magic that leads to consumers making the jump from the platform to using their purchasing power.

For marketers that means keeping things creative and collaborative, two key factors in TikTok’s success. And that success is huge. Users spend an average of 52 minutes on the platform when they log in and a staggering 90% of users say they log on every day.

TikTok Insights will help marketers find ways to connect, but the content TikTok is looking for is authentic.

And while entrepreneurs can bid for advertising like other social media platforms, they need to remember when planning that spend, that most TikTok marketing success stories are more accidental than planned. Have fun with that knowledge. Instead of pressure to create the perfect plan, TikTok Insights allows marketers to keep it creative and to find a way to tie it into what they enjoy about the platform.

Like all other social media marketing, focus on creating content that stops the consumer from their continual scroll. Make it a challenge and keep it real.

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Grindr got busted for selling users’ data locations to advertisers

(SOCIAL MEDIA) User data has been a hot topic in the tech world. It’s often shared haphazardly or not protected, and the app Grindr, follows suit.

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Grindr on phone in man's hands

If you’re like me, you probably get spam calls a lot. Information is no longer private in this day and age; companies will buy and sell whatever information they can get their hands on for a quick buck. Which is annoying, but not necessarily outright dangerous, right?

Wrong.

Grindr has admitted to selling their user’s data, however, they are specifically selling the location of their users without regard for liability concerns. Grindr, a gay hook-up app, is an app where a marginalized community is revealing their location to find a person to connect to. Sure, Grindr claims they have been doing this less and less since 2020, but the issue still remains: they have been selling the location of people who are in a marginalized community – a community that has faced a huge amount of oppression in the past and is still facing it to this day.

Who in their right mind thought this was okay? Grindr initially did so to create “real-time ad exchanges” for their users, to find places super close to their location. Which makes sense, sort of. The root of the issue is that the LGBTQAI+ community is a community at risk. How does Grindr know if all of their users are out? Do they know exactly who they’re selling this information to? How do they know that those who bought the information are going to use it properly?

They don’t have any way of knowing this and they put all of their users at risk by selling their location data. And the data is still commercially available! Historical data could still be obtained and the information was able to be purchased in 2017. Even if somebody stopped using Grindr in, say, 2019, the fact they used Grindr is still out there. And yeah, the data that’s been released has anonymized, Grindr claims, but it’s really easy to reverse that and pin a specific person to a specific location and time.

This is such a huge violation of privacy and it puts people in real, actual danger. It would be so easy for bigots to get that information and use it for something other than ads. It would be so easy for people to out others who aren’t ready to come out. It’s ridiculous and, yeah, Grindr claims they’re doing it less, but the knowledge of what they have done is still out there. There’s still that question of “what if they do it again” and, with how the world is right now, it’s really messed up and problematic.

If somebody is attacked because of the data that Grindr sold, is Grindr complicit in that hate crime, legally or otherwise?

So, moral of the story?

Yeah, selling data can get you a quick buck, but don’t do it.

You have no idea who you’re putting at risk by selling that data and, if people find out you’ve done it, chances are your customers (and employees) will lose trust in you and could potentially leave you to find something else. Don’t risk it!

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BeReal: Youngsters are flocking in droves to this Instagram competitor app

(SOCIAL MEDIA) As Instagram loses steam due to its standards of “perfection posting,” users are drawn to a similar app with a different approach, BeReal.

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social media - bereal app

BeReal is one of several “Real” apps exploding in growth with young users who crave real connections with people they know in real life.

According to data.ai, BeReal ranks 4th by downloads in the US, the UK, and France for Q1 2022 to date, behind only Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest.

BeReal flies in the face of what social media has become. Instead of curated looks that focus on the beautiful parts of life, BeReal users showcase what they’re doing at the moment and share those real photos with their friends. Their real friends.

It’s real. And real is different for a generation of social media users who have been raised on influencers and filters.

As the app says when you go to its page:

Be Real.

Your Friends

for Real.

Every day at a different time, BeReal users are notified simultaneously to capture and share a Photo in 2 Minutes.

A new and unique way to discover who your friends really are in their daily life.

BeReal app

The app has seen monthly users increase by more than 315% according to Apptopia, which tracks and analyzes app performance.

“Push notifications are sent around the world simultaneously at different times each day,” the company said in a statement. “It’s a secret on how the time is chosen every day, it’s not random.”

The app allows no edits and no filters. They want users to show a “slice of their lives.”

Today’s social media users have seen their lives online inundated with ultra-curated social media. The pandemic led to more time spent online than ever. Social media became a way to escape. Reality was ugly. Social media was funny, pretty, and exciting.

And fake.

Enter BeReal where users are asked to share two moments of real life on a surprise schedule. New apps are fun often because they’re new. However, the huge growth in the use of BeReal by college-aged users points to something more than the new factor.

For the past several years, experts have warned that social media was dangerous to our mental health. The dopamine hits of likes and shares are based on photos and videos filled with second and third takes, lens changes, lighting improvements, and filters. Constant comparisons are the norm. And even though we know the world we present on our social pages isn’t exactly an honest portrayal of life, we can’t help but experience FOMO when we see our friends and followers and those we follow having the times of their lives, buying their new it thing, trying the new perfect product, playing in their Pinterest-worthy decorated spaces we wish we could have.

None of what we see is actually real on our apps. We delete our media that isn’t what we want to portray and try again from a different angle and shoot second and third and forth takes that make us look just a little better.

We spend hours flipping through videos on our For You walls and Instagram stories picked by algorithms that know us better than we know ourselves.

BeReal is the opposite of that. It’s simple, fast, and real. It’s community and fun, but it’s a moment instead of turning into the time-sink of our usual social media that, while fun, is also meant to ultimately sell stuff, including all our data.

It will be interesting to watch BeReal and see if it continues down its promised path and whether the growth continues. People are looking for something. Maybe reality is that answer.

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