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Pinterest's New Business Tools Worth A Look (But Read The Fine Print)

Pinterest took a giant step yesterday toward attracting business users when it unveiled a slew of business tools and resources. First among them, a set of "Business Terms of Service." Among them, a warning that you pretty much surrender your rights to anything you post there. "Pinterest and its users a non-exclusive, royalty-free, transferable, sublicensable, worldwide license to use, store, display, reproduce…" (it goes on). Second that, unlike most business arrangements, this is not a contract: Pinterest may terminate or suspend this license at any time "with our without cause or notice to you." Third, an indemnity clause. They don't summarize it on the Business Terms as they do for the personal terms, but the short story is that if Pinterest gets sued over your post, you pay for it.

Ten years ago no self-respecting marketer would agree to such terms on behalf of a company; but it is 10 years later and Pinterest is a social network after all, not a certified business partner.

You begin by signing up for a business account, which allows you to specify a business name (rather than a first and last name) and go through a user flow to help you:

  • Verify your website. The verification badge supposedly helps users identify high-quality sources of content and more easily find the business they want in search results.
  • Add new buttons and widgets, like the  Pin It button, Follow button, Profile widget, or Board widget.
  • Gain access to upcoming features. You’ll receive updates on future products and services.

Pinterest assures business customers that the Pinterest community is unique and it wants to help you interact with people “in the right way.” For that it offers case studies from an impressive list of clients like Jetsetter, Allrecipes, Etsy, Organized Interiors, and Petplan Insurance

Pinterest also offers best practices, guides and documentation for the Pin It and Follow buttons.

All worth a look, but again, do not expect to be treated like valued customer or a "strategic account." If you were, you'd have a contract rather than terms of use.

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