There comes a time in every social network's life when tracking is just a rite of passage (so it seems). Pinterest is the latest company to seek more information about you. The social pinning board is now tracking user information. Don't worry, though, you can always opt out. Here's what Pinterest is up to.
Tracking Your History
Pinterest wants to know what you've been up to. The company will now track user web browsing history. Any site that a user visits with a "Pin It" option will show up in user feeds. So, if you visit any site that has a Pin It button, Pinterest will show you some of the pins from that site when you visit your Pinterest news feed.
If this sounds intrusive, it is, but it's not what Pinterest intended when the site announced the new tracking technology. Pinterest reps told press that the site developers aim to make the site more personable. The best way to do this is to offer customized features such as tracking information.
By showing you pins from other sites that you visit, Pinterest is trying to prove that the company pays attention to what interest you. It's all about complete customer satisfaction. What if you don't want to be tracked?
Opt Out of Tracking
Pinterest lets users opt out of website tracking by checking a simple "opt out" box. The company doesn't want users to be upset about the tracking changes, which is why opting out of being tracked is an option. Let's face it, though, you are already being tracked when you browse, and most companies aren't offering an opt out option.
Letting Pinterest track your browsing history is entirely up to you, but it will build a news feed that's more centered on what you love. Oddly, though, companies like Pinterest never offer users an 'opt-in' choice. Shouldn't it be that way? Shouldn't users have a right to opt-in to something like browser tracking, instead of having to look for that 'opt-out' option? It seems this way, but that's not how companies like Pinterest operate.
Room for Advertising Too?
Even though Pinterest reps have stated that the new tracking is aimed at providing users with a better overall experience, that may be only one side of this puzzle. Seemingly, it will make it simpler for Pinterest to place targeted ads in front of users when that day comes (and it seems unlikely that the day won't come when Pinterest tries to generate revenue through ad sales).
It will be curious to see whether or not Pinterest users like the idea of being tracked (or see the good in what Pinterest is trying to do). The company has also stated that additional features will be rolling out in coming weeks, so stay tuned for more news from your favorite pinning site. Pinterest hasn't made any attempt to post ads on the site yet, but, I fear, that day is fast approaching. How do you feel about being tracked by Pinterest?