Pinterest. The current social media darling and possibly the most controversial social platform yet?
Pinterest is a site where you can create visual, virtual pinboards to track and plan an event or project. Over 70% of the sites’ users are women and some of the most pinned images are of food. Users say it’s incredibly addictive.
Should your business be on Pinterest? Of course it should. Should you be concerned about copyright? Well that depends.
If your site is filled with commercially sensitive visuals then you will already be taking steps to protect your copyright and your images. If you haven’t already installed the “no-pin” script to prevent pinning, now would be the time to do this.
If you find that images have been pinned from your site without your permission then you can report the copyright violation and Pinterest will act upon your request.
But what if you don’t have commercially sensitive images?
As an online marketer, I can’t see any reason why you would want to prevent your images from beingpinned unless you would like to lose your competitive advantage.
Reading a Pinterest /Copyright post from former direct marketer, Elaine Sturgess, I have to agree with her points –
the idea that there is much of an issue [Copyright] at all rather bemuses me. After all, what Pinterest does is offer a completely free method of providing promotion and exposure; it means people can express their interest in your product, service or art, including wonderful photography – and then share that interest with others – and if it means you can get an idea about which product, services and ideas customers are interested in, where’s the issue?
It’s also a fact that the photos that appear on Pinterest are low resolution and small – in other words, their practical use for any other application other than providing you with that free marketing exposure is extremely limited – you can’t use them for print or any other application requiring a high resolution quality photograph – and if you take the time to watermark them, they can hardly be used for anything else online either.
As Elaine correctly points out, the images and resolution are too small for offline use and when watermarked they are barely useable in the online world. Still protective of your images? Or are you starting to see things in a new light? Well that’s not the only reason you should be on Pinterest, you need to be part of their community too. Although mainstream marketers have only just discovered Pinterest, it’s been established since 2010. You need to comment and interact with people there, just like you would any other community.
But you do have to be careful when it comes to copyright and that’s when it comes to pinning and re-pinning images from Google.
Why you should never Pin directly from Google Images…
Pins from can be embedded in blog posts and when that happens the Pins are attributed correctly from the source site. This can be another problem area for corporate content creators. If a person pins an image from Google, then Google is attributed as the source of that image on Pinterest.
If you are searching for pinnable images to create a vision board or relevant services related board, you should never pin from Google images.
You must go to the original source of the image. If you are using Google Images to find your photos, click to view the original page and click the “X” at the top right corner of the image. That will bring you to the original web page and you can pin from there. This ensures correct attribution for the image.
If you see a pin that you must repin, then track it back to its original source. A few minutes work here will see that you are on the right side of attribution when it comes to copyright. If you click the Pin, it will take you to the page the image was pinned from. If that’s Google then click the X at the top of the image and visit the image in its natural habitat. Scroll down and see if there is a link to the photographer / designer image, if there is then you need to click that link and pin from there as that is the original source of the image.
Seems like a lot of work? Possibly, but it’s the safest way to pin and repin images using Pinterest.