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Pinterest and Getty Images have a newly minted relationship where Getty’s photos will receive proper attribution – avoiding any future Copyright issues – and Pinterest will have a complete data set and links attached to any Getty photo pinned on its site. This partnership will have a trickle-down effect to make Pinterest more useful for everyone who touches it.
Almost every avid Pinner has experienced the frustration of a Pinterest dead-end. You’ve searched high and low for the perfect dinner idea, finally find a delicious picture of creamed spinach casserole, and click through to the recipe only to find that it goes nowhere. I’m not talking about an image that directs you to the general blog homepage instead of the specific recipe, I’m talking about an image that takes you nowhere except to a larger image in a new window.
Pinterest is trying to prevent this from becoming a growing problem. The social network could quickly fall into a pit of uselessness if it’s just a place for pretty pictures. The purpose of Pinterest is to take people somewhere. There’s no point in having boards with pictures of athletic people if you can’t click to blog articles full of work-out advice.
While a link-less photo abyss might be a turnoff for users, it could be a death knoll for bloggers and photographers.
Facebook is bar none the highest source of referral traffic – and will be quick to point out that fact at any given opportunity – but Pinterest is a steadily growing second place. Many bloggers, particularly in niches like cooking, fitness, and fashion, can stake their rise in popularity and growth on Pinterest. Without that referral traffic, they wouldn’t have as many visitors, ad revenue, and conversions. These bloggers need Pinterest to put food on the table.
While Pinterest is tidying up its site and filling in the gaps of who took what photos, photographers will start to see more recognition for their work. TechCrunch reported that in the new agreement Pinterest will pay a small fee to Getty Images in exchange for in-depth information on photos. Not only will users have names for the images, they’ll have keywords, the photographer, the licensing, and even the exact image number. Pinterest users can find similar images using the provided keywords or by checking out the photographer’s work. Before this partnership, users were relying on the description of the original Pinner. Now they have Getty to fill in the gaps.
Of course, this all comes down to the ad monies. If Pinterest can paint a better picture of what users enjoy pinning then they can serve them ads that better suit their lifestyle.
For example, if I pin 20 pictures onto a craft board, and the only one with a link goes to Home Depot, I might start seeing ads for lawn care, plumbing, and carpeting. But if all of the pictures have links, I’ll see ads for cute birdhouses, paints, and craft tools that I’m more likely to click on and buy from. More data leads to better targeting which leads to more conversions. This benefits both Pinterest and its advertisers.
This is mostly a preemptive strike as Pinterest starts looking to monetize. It’s the ounce of prevention that will save them time and money on a pound of cure.