Dear Pinterest: Can We Talk?

Mike TuttleSocial Media

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I like Pinterest. I really do. But, I have this fear for the old girl.

See, there is a rule in marketing that goes like this:

If your product is bad, awesome marketing will only kill your business that much faster.

Pinterest is among the Top Ten social media sites now. It may be so popular right now that they can afford to float for a bit and not worry about the criticisms and issues. Maybe they grew far faster than they intended to and are having growing pains. These things happen.

In the few days that I have been very active on Pinterest, I have noticed these issues, and had other pointed out by folks (i.e. women) far more active than I. If these are not addressed soon, Pinterest may find its market share sinking sooner than later.

1. Frequent 503 Errors

I had heard about them before I saw them. Apparently, they are well-known enough that Pinterest's competitors are making hay about hem and attracting away subscribers. 503 errors indicate that a server is down for maintenance or is overloaded.

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2. That miserable iOS app.

With a 2/5 star rating and comments like these, the app is a major hurdle that Pinterest needs to clear:

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I have noticed that Pinterest is currently advertising for an iOS Engineer. With the kind of venture capital that poured into their company, that job search should be short. And it should be priority. Maybe someone out there wants to apply?

3. Embedding bugs

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As a blogger, I think the embed function on Pinterest would be a great tool. Except... it is buggy. I have to go into the embed code and remove extraneous stuff, insert line breaks, etc.

Also, the embed code screen purports to allow you to change height and width of your embed to suit your blogs layout. But, it doesn't work if you need to go bigger than the image Pinterest has. I understand that they don't want images blown up so big as to look bad, possibly reflecting poorly on Pinterest. But, I'm not going to use a poor image. Pinterest doesn't seem to want to give me a choice. You can go figure the proper ratios yourself with simple math or a ratio calculator. But, we shouldn't have to. YouTube allows ratio editing. Pinterest should too.

4. Privacy

It is an oft-heard complaint when researching Pinterest that you can not make private boards. If Pinterest is to be attractive to a wide audience, that needs to happen fast. People should not be subject by default to scrutiny by family and friends who have followed their pins. And, this doesn't just apply to porn - which I can understand Pinterest wanting to curtail. What about articles on AIDS, cancer or miscarriages? Wouldn't it be nice to be able to research and collect items, sharing that space with whom you choose, but not worrying about all eyes seeing it?

Pinterest is on the verge of something big. They need to plug these leaks before heading into even deeper water.

Mike Tuttle
Writer. Google+ Writer for WebProNews.