By: Kelsey Ohman
You’ve probably heard about it by now – the addictive, image-heavy phenomenon Pinterest, which has seen rapid and rather unexpected growth in recent months. Pinterest, similar to an images-only version of Tumblr, allows its users to “pin” and “repin” photos from anywhere to pinboards they create. Users can choose to follow individual pinboards, other users, or browse at random for hours (and hours and hours…). While Pinterest itself is a truly innovative and unique social network, the large volumes of users it has quickly accumulated has left many of its features with something to be desired. Here I’ve put together five suggestions which I believe could make Pinterest even better.
Pinterest currently employs a hashtag system that is very flawed. While it has potential, Pinterest’s hashtags serve as more of a keyword search than a tagging system. Additionally, Pinterest’s search options are vast but not always relevant. I would love to see a system implemented that is similar to Tumblr’s Tracked Tags, essentially saved searches that are easily accessible. That way, when I want to browse “puppies” every day, I can simply click my “puppies” tracked tag to see the latest pictures of adorable puppies that utilize that tag.
Like their hashtags, Pinterest allows users to tag someone within a pin’s description using @[username]. However, they never receive a notification of this! I would certainly use an effective @[username] system to show friends pins I think they’d particularly enjoy. Pinterest also allows users to comment on pins, which is another feature I’d love to see become more developed in the future.
Many people seem to think that the option of private boards would be a game changer for Pinterest, and I can’t help but agree. Users could create private boards for pins that they may not wish to share to the public. For example, I’ve come across several instances where I would have liked to save a pin for later reference, but it didn’t fit within the categories of my boards, and wasn’t necessary to share. I’m sure I’m not the only Pinner who has come across this problem, which would easily be solved by the option to have a private board (or a friends-only board).
ALL the GIFs!
One of my favorite aspects of Tumblr, which is also relatively image-heavy on its own, is its support of GIF animated images. I feel like I’m at Hogwarts every time I scroll through my Tumblr dashboard to see all those moving photos! Pinterest would be a great outlet for GIF images, which are often fan-created but incredibly fun. While they would not necessarily drive traffic for marketing purposes, they would add a new element to Pinterest.
They Don’t Have Cooties…
Pinterest is notoriously female-friendly, from its pink and white color scheme to its popularity among brides-to-be. The male Pinterest users I know have been completely turned off of or confused by Pinterest because of this, and I can’t say I blame them. However, my hockey board is lacking, and I can’t help but think that more guys on Pinterest would fix that problem. I think that a re-evaluation of Pinterest’s categories, and possibly offering more of them which cater to men could be interesting. I’d love to see what happens to Pinterest if their demographics balance out. Let’s let the boys play, too.
What do you like or dislike about Pinterest? Are there changes you would like to see for this growing social network? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and don’t forget to follow me on Pinterest (I promise I’ll follow back)!