digital disruptors | Apr 23, 2021 |
Pinterest is finally giving designers a way to control how their work is shared

While Pinterest and interior design go hand in hand, with users able to peruse an endless algorithmic stream of beautiful interiors, crediting original creators has been a major pitfall of the platform. A designer might upload a photo from a recent project and link to their site on their original pin, but as soon as another user reposts that image, it’s largely out of the designer’s control how it gets disseminated. To address that flaw, Pinterest has announced a new function designed to give creators more control over image distribution. Dubbed the Content Claiming Portal, the tool will allow verified content creators to control if and how their pins may be shared. In a blog post published this week, the company said the new initiative aims to drive traffic back to creators.

Many designers have long accepted the possibility of losing out on credit for their work as a cost of using social media. “I’ve encountered my work floating around uncredited on Pinterest, as well as on Instagram and other blogs, but I feel this is the nature of the beast, in a way,” says Houston-based designer Marie Flanigan.

To take advantage of Pinterest’s new tool, creators must first fill out an application with information about their company and get approved, similar to getting a verified account on Instagram or Twitter. Once a creator is approved, they’ll have three options when they upload new content: Make a pin “mine only,” meaning the site will automatically remove existing and future versions of the images from Pinterest, except those initially pinned by the creator; “website only,” which will remove future versions that don’t link back to the original creator’s website; or “block all,” which will prevent anyone from resharing the image.

Reactions to the feature’s rollout have varied among designers. Flanigan is wary of using the new service. “It seems that some of these new tools could limit the virality of posts,” she says. “While I feel the portal could be an asset in the right context, I don’t see myself using the ‘mine only’ or ‘block all’ functions, because the beauty of Pinterest is that your work can be continually pinned, casting a wide net of inspiration across the platform.”

Liz Caan, an interior designer from Newton, Massachusetts, who credits Pinterest with helping her to land work in the past, thinks that the “website only” tool in particular will be useful for her firm and the design industry at large. “I think it’s great for designers who have robust portfolios that they have spent years building,” she says. “It helps control their brand and the messages they want alongside the images. [And for general users], people should know whose work they’re admiring, so they can potentially hire that designer or collaborate with them. I think the portal is a great option for designers on Pinterest.”

Homepage photo: Courtesy of Pinterest

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