Pinterest updates terms of service

Kathryn McConnachie
By Kathryn McConnachie, Digital Media Editor at ITWeb.
Johannesburg, 26 Mar 2012

Pinterest has released new proposed terms of service, acceptable use policy and privacy policy updates that will all come into effect on 6 April.

The social pin-boarding service that has skyrocketed this year has recently been under intense scrutiny regarding its controversial terms of service.

Pinterest users even started a campaign to request the service to change its terms of service, after some users went so far as to delete their pin-boards out of fear of the possible implications.

The original terms of service stated that by posting content onto Pinterest, users gave the service the right to sell that content. This clause was cause for concern for many users.

In a message sent to users over the weekend though, Pinterest co-founder Ben Silbermann says: “Selling content was never our intention and we removed this from our updated terms.”

According to Silbermann, Pinterest just used a standard set of terms when the site launched, and the updated version better reflects the “direction our company is headed in the future”.

The update also includes simpler tools for the reporting of alleged copyright or trademark infringements. Pinterest will also no longer allow for any posts that encourage self-harm or self-abuse (the service previously had no firm stance on the matter).

Looking ahead

Notably, the new terms also lay down the groundwork for the release of the Pinterest API and private pin-boards.

“Like everything at Pinterest, these updates are a work in progress that we will continue to improve upon,” says Silbermann.

The update has so far been welcomed by the tech-community for being “pro-consumer”. Pinterest has reportedly surpassed the 12 million user mark recently, and despite still being an invitation-only service in beta phase, it is already generating more referral traffic than Twitter.

Last week, the service rolled out a redesign that focused on creating better profile pages and making it easier to find people on the service with similar interests.