Pinterest users will be held to new terms of service and have to follow updated acceptable use and privacy policies beginning April 6.
A Saturday morning email to users of the image-based social network from Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann sheds some light on the reasoning behind the changes. It reads in part:
The changes follow an influx of complaints and inquiries about the legality of Pinterest users essentially copying and pasting pictures, regardless of copyright, from the Internet onto pinboards.
In the notice to users, Pinterest also responds to questions about the bookmarking site making money from pins. Pinterest has only acknowledged profitting from pins directing users to buy products on merchant sites.
“Our original Terms stated that by posting content to Pinterest you grant Pinterest the right for us to sell your content,” reads the email. “Selling content was never our intention and we removed this from our updated Terms.”
Another addition to the all-public pinboard system will be private pinning. When that will become available is not yet known, however.
Silbermann said a Pinterest API is on the way, too, meaning we’ll likely see more Pinterest-related applications soon. The API will allow developers to build applications using or revolving around Pinterest. Consumers will be more likely to show their image-and-text pins on third-party websites, and developers are already tracking the release of the API. An unofficial Pinterest API group on Facebook has more than 870 members.
There is also a shift on what users can pin. New pinning restrictions cover content that “[Pinterest] deem[s] to be hateful, violent, harmful, abusive, racially or ethnically offensive, defamatory, etc.” Pictures relating to harm, death, disability or disfigurement to yourself, other people or animals are prohibited.
The updated terms and policies attempt to bring the answers users have been seeking to the forefront. Pinterest explains they made the usage guidelines bare-bones to facilitate comprehension. Sections are numbered with several explainers.
The old terms of service simply laid out sections like how Pinterest works, general prohibitions, liability and eligibility. Now, there are specifications to how the company and other users can use content that is posted publicly.
There is also a new section about terminating accounts, which details how long your pins will stay on the network. The answer? “Pinterest may retain your User Content for a commercially reasonable period of time for backup, archival, or audit purposes.”
Expect more changes to Pinterest as the social network continues to grow in popularity.
“Like everything at Pinterest, these updates are a work in progress that we will continue to improve upon.”
Do you think these changes are good for Pinterest? Let us know in the comments.