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Pinterest Joins the “Do Not Track” Ranks




Pinterest LogoIn a move that some (especially marketers) might find as detrimental to the future financial success of Pinterest, the popular image sharing site has decided to follow Twitter’s lead and allow users to opt out of being tracked by the site.

How far Pinterest goes to promote this fact remains to be seen since it was given one sentence at the very end of a post from Friday of last week announcing other updates to the service which include a new edit button.

The New York Times reported about the do not track element telling us

In Silicon Valley there are hundreds of companies that track people’s habits with the hopes of offering more intrusive advertising. There are, in comparison, very few Valley start-ups that give people the opportunity to opt out of that tracking.

On Friday, Pinterest, which allows users to share photographs and other media on custom “pinboards,” joined the short list of companies that do give people that option.

When announcements like this are made it usually begs the question “How many people will actually take advantage of this option?”. There are several factors, not the least of which is how well Pinterest ‘publicizes’ the feature. If how they ‘promoted’ it in the post last week is any indication there might not be much to see here.

This is one of those times where it is important to remove ourselves from the sequestered Internet industry that thinks it is so in touch with the world and actually step out and consider this from the rest of the world’s true perspective. The fact is, most don’t seem to care like we might think. Take it a step further if you’d like and consider that most wouldn’t do anything even if they were aware. It’s an extra step to take and many simply don’t want to be bothered. Couple that with mounting evidence that remarketing is effective (which simply means people are buying as a result of being stalked around the Internet rather than being repulsed by the practice) and you have what is likely to be a non-issue.

So what does Pinterest get out of this? It can now say that it is one of the innovators in online privacy matters. They can say it with a wink and a smile since they are likely to be pretty confident that the impact to their business will be negligible. The publicity, however, is priceless.

What’s your take?

  • cynthialil

    The flip side of this is that Pinterest is going to start showing users pins that are relevant to them based on their web usage. So it could be a great thing for advertisers because it’s going to put boards in front of users who might not see them in the first place. So, I’m not worried. Most people aren’t going to bother to hit Do Not Track and they’ll be treated to new pins from brands every day.

  • TonkaTuck

    I’ve disabled Pinterest’s web tracking multiple times now and it keeps magically turning itself back on. I’ve had multiple friends confirm the same behavior on their accounts. I don’t think it’s a coincidence at this point.