NOTE: This Pinterest article was written soon after Pinterest started gaining popularity in early 2012. Most of this article is still very relevant.
This is WAY off of my normal topic of interest here on Living Locurto, but I have recently found out interesting things about Pinterest that I wanted fellow bloggers to know. I’m not judging anyone, but wanted to give you all some information about my findings.
1. When someone pins your photo, it goes onto the Pinterest’s servers.
You no longer have control of that image, Pinterest does.
If you don’t want your image on Google or Yahoo, you just delete it from your blog or server. You don’t have that option with Pinterest. It’s there for anyone to repin and take whether you want them to or not.
What if someone pinned a photo of your cute baby and it went viral on Pinterest…. then others are using your baby on their site to get pins and Pinterest followers? (see point #2)
What if you were being paid to be featured in a magazine, but they wanted exclusive rights to your photo. You take the photo off of your site, but it’s all over Pinterest? (see a a comment below from someone who says this happened to her and she has yet to hear from Pinterest when asked to remove it.)
Once someone pins your photo, it’s on Pinterest forever until you contact them to remove it.
I wonder if Pinterest would remove ALL of the photos if your photo went viral? I don’t have the answer to that. All I know is that I have no control of my photo once it’s pinned.
(UPDATE: I have contacted Pinterest to remove my images or direct links to the correct URL and they usually do eventually. This is very very time consuming to go through each image you want removed or a link changed. )
Here is an example of how you have no control over a photo once it gets pinned and why you should be concerned:
My friend and very talented baker Amanda, says this about her amazing Heart Cake that has become HUGELY popular on Pinterest:
Amanda wrote: “Out of 100 of my images on Pinterest, maybe 5 actually link to me.”
In the pinned image above, Amanda’s cake is sourced via Google found on another blog who has made Amanda’s cake.
She shows Amanda’s photo as the finished product, that photo then went to Google and got pinned! So she is in turn getting traffic to her blog because of Amanda’s photo. She is using Amanda’s recipe, photo and directions.
Amanda does get credit waaaaaaay at the bottom of the post as “Source”.
That small hidden link is the only place out of these two pins where Amanda gets any credit to her wonderful idea and photo.
(UPDATE: Since writing this article, the website that this pinned image was linked to has been taken down. Obviously they realized it was copyright infringement and took measures to correct it. Now, Amanda’s photo is still on Pinterest with no credit to any source.)
2. People are finding pins from the Pinterest “Popular” section, then re-creating that idea in a blog post.
It could be your idea.
Why are they doing this?
- Not ALL, but a good handful are doing it to ride on the “Popular Pinterest Train”. – What the average person probably doesn’t realize is the amount of traffic people are getting from Pinterest. It’s higher than any other social media platform as of now. If you’re lucky, you can get more hits to your website from ONE pin than an entire year of Google search traffic. I’m talking thousands of hits from just ONE pin. For those people who don’t have websites, they probably have no clue about this. When more companies and website owners find out, they will flock to Pinterest. This is just the beginning and why I wanted to write this post now.
Why is this different from using one of my ideas and making a craft and putting it on your blog?
- You are doing it because you like it and it’s fun. You are not trying to re-create a popular pinned item in hopes that yours will go viral therefore bringing you tons of traffic to your blog.
- You are not giving Pinterest or your Pinterest board credit (to get Pinterest followers), you are giving me credit. We all have fun sharing ideas and everyone is happy. It’s not about getting more Pinterest followers which in turn will get your blog more traffic.
I admit, I have found amazing ideas from Pinterest and featured them (the original source) on my blog occasionally with a link to my Pinterest board. I have also benefited from people pinning my ideas and getting traffic.
I’m sure many people feature items that they found on Pinterest just for fun and link to the original source. I don’t see a problem with that as long as they link to the source, not Pinterest.
What I didn’t realize until recently, is that people were actually creating “Inspired by Pinterest” blogs based on this.
Whole websites devoted to this.
Your ideas used for someone’s Pinterest gain. I should make a shirt with that saying! Ha.
If you are using Pinterest to get more traffic and hopefully make lots of money, great for you. I just hope you are using your own photos and ideas or asking the original creator to collaborate so it’s a win win for each side.
If you don’t believe me, read this Greekgeek article where the author sites this article and actually searched Google for Pinterest Inspired sites and found millions of results. Or just go search yourself.
To sum up, I just wanted to share my findings with you.
I really love what Pinterest has done. I enjoy pinning and finding inspiring ideas. I just hope you will do what you can to protect your ideas and images. I know I will be changing the way I use Pinterest from now on.
As you will see in the future, my photos will include my URL watermark or “Photo Terms” as in my Owl Smores photo above. Then when you go to Pinterest, you’ll see my note or url on my photos in the mist of this.
I hope someday Pinterest will make it where the original source must be pinned. Or at least provide a reminder before someone pins a photo. We can do nothing about those who mis-use Pinterest… only try to do the best we can to use Pinterest the way it was meant to be used as an inspiration board. If we get traffic, that is just a very nice bonus!
FINAL & IMPORTANT NOTE:
Please pin the original sources. I feature a lot of people here, it takes 2 seconds to click over to their site to pin their post. I hope you will do that from now on. I will.
I apologize for not doing that in the past. I like you, didn’t even think about it until recently. Just pinning things I liked, never realizing that person’s photo could go viral and they don’t get credit.
REMINDER: When you submit a photo to another site, they will probably be pinning YOUR PHOTO TO THEIR WEBSITE and not yours. If you are okay with that, go for it. Hopefully the reader will eventually click a few more times to find your blog and original project. In my experience, I haven’t found that to be the case, even with magazine or news websites that claim to have multi-million page views.
Thanks so much for reading this long post!!
Here is a follow up to this post with more info and how Pinterest is Changing The Way I Blog.
Link With Love Campaign
Please pin the “Dear Pinterest” image found on Link With Love. It’s a kind campaign to raise awareness about the importance of LINKING to the original source.
Is Pinterest a Haven for Copyright Violations? – Greekgeek.hubpages.com
Why I Tearfully Deleted My Pinterest Inspiration Boards – DDKPortraits.com (attorney & photographer)
Is Pinterest Already Making Money, Quietly? – NYTimes.com
How Pinterest Uses Your Content Without Violating Copyright Laws – ReadWriteWeb.com
Our Neighborhood Blog Watch Starts Today, and Some Startling News About Pinterest – AskChefDennis.com
Originally published on February 10, 2012. Last Updated on May 15, 2021 by Amy Locurto