Pinterest Finally Speaks – The Latest

    February 17, 2012
    Mike Tuttle

Pinterest has been maddeningly silent about some of the press items floated the past few weeks. The Pinterest Adding Affiliate Links Without Disclosing” target=”_blank”>Skimlinks “scandal” came and went on its own, pretty much. Skimlinks CEO Alicia Navarro Pinterest “Spamming” Facebook?” target=”_blank”>did speak up and calm the tempest in a teapot about how “sneaky” (or not) the monetizing of links on Pinterest had been.

Then, there’s the “copyright issue”. As with any aggregation or sharing-based site, concerns about copyrighted materials being passed around came up. Was Pinterest considered a “safe harbor” under copyright law? Or were they profiting from the indiscriminate sharing of copyrighted material?

Finally, someone spoke, albeit briefly and quietly. Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann called Josh Davis at LLSocial and spoke about the affiliate links issue, which no one seems to mind anymore. Davis said:

“Ben told me that it was never Pinterest’s intention to be deceptive. He indicated that the use of Skimlinks was a test, not a business plan, and that Pinterest had stopped using Skimlinks a week before I wrote the original story on the subject.”

Oops. I hope Skimlinks got some good traction out of this while it lasted.

To clarify the monetization efforts, Pinterest has a added a new section to their Help Page that answers “How does Pinterest make money?”

Right now, we are focused on growing Pinterest and making it more valuable. To fund these efforts, we have taken outside investment from entrepreneurs and venture capitalists. We’ve tested a few different approaches to making money such as affiliate links. We might also try adding advertisements, but we haven’t done this yet.

Even though making money isn’t our top priority right now, it is a long term goal. After all, we want Pinterest to be here to stay!

But, regarding the copyright issue, Davis said that Silbermann “didn’t want to go into detail about how they will continue to address that issue”.

Perhaps Pinterest is more concerned with keeping their user base happy and launching an API than addressing questions. I wouldn’t blame them. But, they are the hottest item out there right now. Maybe it would be a good idea to put one person on PR duty.

Or, maybe they don’t need to at all. Who is going to leave Pinterest over any of the issues so far? What do they have to lose by ignoring the chatter?

What they do need to pay attention to is fixing that stinky mobile app. C’mon guys. Even the ladies who love you are griping about that one. At least let us know that you hear the whining. It crashes as soon as you open it. I had to be really fast to get this screenshot, and it’s all I’ve seen on the mobile app for weeks, even after updating it 2 days ago.

Pinterest Mobile App Screenshot” class=”alignnone” width=”320″ height=”480″ />