As Pinterest.com rapidly attracts more users each day, many are not sure what really happens when they “pin.”
Pinterest is a virtual pin-board that allows users to pin photos from around the Internet and organize them into themed collections — or “boards” — either to use for inspiration or to share with others. In January, the site had 11.7 million users, making Pinterest the fastest website in history to hit 10 million users, according to comScore, an Internet marketing research company. It is now among the top 10 social networks.
“I’m hoping they reconsider the terms,” said Megan Amraen, a freshman business major. “It would be so hard for me to delete my account.”
Essentially, all users are agreeing they are the sole owner of the images they are pinning, they have permission to pin them or the photos are not copyrighted. But, many users may not be able to tell what pictures on the Internet are copyrighted. This could result in users unknowingly committing copyright infringement.
“Our strategy has been to post images and content that we’ve distributed elsewhere, whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter or on the Virginia Tech sites we maintain,” Jackson said.
“I guess the risk is there, but I’m still going to do it,” said Rathi Gupta, a junior business major. “Maybe I won’t re-pin anymore, but just look at other people’s pins.”
Sam Thompson, a junior communication major, agreed that she would not delete her account either.
However, colleges and universities have also created Pinterest accounts, Virginia Tech included. And when it comes to Pinterest accounts that represent bigger communities, account deletion may be more likely.
“As with any new Web or social media trend, our participation with Pinterest is an ongoing experiment,” Jackson said. “We hope that it leads to a greater engagement with friends and fans of Virginia Tech. If we feel that we’re not able to accomplish that, or if we determine that our efforts can be better spent on another social media site or venue, we’ll change that approach.”
Those following Tech’s Pinterest account can see themed pin-boards such as “Virginia Tech History,” “Around Virginia Tech” and “Hokie Pets.”