Pinterest: Terms of Service Not the Only Thing Changing

Social Media

Late Monday, Pinterest co-founder, and current president and CEO, Paul Sciarra announced he will stepping down from his day-to-day involvement with the über popular website. Reports say Sciarra will be now moving on to be an entrepreneur-in-residence with, Pinterest investor, Andreessen Horowitz.

“After lots of reflection and plenty of discussion with Ben [Silbermann] and others, I’ve decided that now is a good time for me to step down formally from day-to-day involvement,” Sciarra said in a blog post.

Pinterest, the pinboard-style social photo sharing and bookmarking website, was founded over three years ago by Sciarra, along with Silbermann and designer Evan Sharp, but the company didn’t start to saturate the social media market until just months ago. The service went viral, with millions of users signing up in droves. Monthly visitor counts went from 500,000 a year ago to more than 17 million and counting, according to data from tracking firm ComScore.

But Sciarra’s departure isn’t the only thing changing for Pinterest. Two weeks ago, Ben [Silbermann] and the Pinterest team, sent out an email informing users of their newly updated Terms of ServiceAcceptable Use Policy, and Privacy Policy which will take effect for everyone April 6, 2012.

When first launched, Pinterest used only a standard set of Terms, but since the massive growth, they’ve found the need to update the policies to better reflect the company’s future direction.

Some notable changes are:

  • In the original Terms, it stated that by posting content to Pinterest you grant them the right to sell your content. However, since selling content was never their intention, they removed this from the updated Terms.
  • In the Acceptable Use Policy, Pinterest will not allow pins that explicitly encourage self-harm or self-abuse.
  • They will be releasing simpler tools for anyone to report alleged copyright or trademark infringements.
  • They’ve added language that will pave the way for new features such as a Pinterest API and Private Pinboards.

“Like everything at Pinterest, these updates are a work in progress that we will continue to improve upon,” states Silbermann. “We’re working hard to make Pinterest the best place for you to find inspiration from people who share your interest. We’ve gotten a lot of help from our community as we’ve crafted these Terms.”

Rapid growth comes with some growing pains however. According to, “last month, a spammer claiming $1,000 a day in revenue garnered a firestorm of attention online and in the media…and apparently he’s not the only one making a quick buck off pins.”

Scammers might be able to capitalize off of Pinterest, but how about the company itself?

“Eventually Pinterest will have to make money, but it will have to be from browsers, not buyers, because Pinterest won’t drive significant purchasing,” explains Julian Green from Telegraph. “For Pinterest to be successful in encouraging buying, they would need to connect the collection of images to the catalogue of products. This is hard to do”

With all these recent updates and changes, Pinterest may just positioning themselves for the kind of powerhouse growth shared by Facebook and Twitter. We’ll just have to wait and see what is in store for all the loyal pinners out there. In the meantime, we suggest making sure you know all the changes made to their Terms of Service to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience online.

Image source: The Travel Bite