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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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?
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!
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
Team of deaf engineers at Snap create feature to help users learn ASL
(SOCIAL MEDIA) Snapchat engineers known as the “Deafengers” have created an ASL Alphabet Lens to help users learn the basics of ASL.
A team of Deaf and hard-of-hearing Snapchat engineers known as the “Deafengers” at the company have created an ASL Alphabet Lens to help users learn the basics of American Sign Language.
Using AR Technology, the Lens teaches users to fingerspell their names, practice the ASL Alphabet and play games to “put their new skills to the test.”
The Lens, launched last month, is the first of its kind and encourages users to learn American Sign Language.
In aSnapchat said, “For native signers, in a world where linguistic inequity is prevalent, we believe AR can help evolve the way we communicate. We look forward to learning more from our community as we strive to continuously improve experiences for everyone on Snapchat.”
Austin Vaday, one of the deaf engineers who helped develop the Lens said helping the world understand sign language is important. He shared hiswith NBC correspondent Erin McLaughlin on TODAY after the Lens was released.
Vaday didn’t learn American Sign Language until he was 12. Before then he relied mostly on lip-reading to communicate. ASL changed his life. That life-changing moment helped inspire the ASL Alphabet Lens.
The ASL Alphabet Lens was designed and developed over six months in partnership with SignAll.
There are approximately 48 million deaf and hard of hearing people in the United States, according to the National Association of the Deaf.
Vaday said the ASL Alphabet Lens came from the desire to find a way to appropriately and properly educate people so they can communicate with those who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Vaday said the team focused on the core values of intelligence, creativity, and empathy while working on the project and it’s a step to opening communication for all Snap users with the deaf and hard of hearing community.
The ASL Alphabet Lens is available to all Snapchat users.
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