In today’s digital world, communications and consumers move quicker than ever before. Once something is said or done, it’s hard to put that genie back in the box. As king of the hill, Pinterest naturally faces a lot of challengers – but by voicing certain shortcomings of the site they may soon face a major challenge. They recently began curtailing the number of spammers and fake accounts on its system in an effort to clear its platform of unwanted elements. There were major adjustments – and then they chose to start testing secret boards amidst very high-profile attention. Pinterest said “the holidays were a perfect time to test one of our most frequently-requested features: secret boards!” Is Pinterest saying it’s ok to hide your gift requests, or likes and dislikes only for the holidays? In trying to be all things to all people and please consumers during the holidays, Pinterest is inviting a lot of criticism – which could escalate into a larger issue. By only allowing users to create up to three of these Secret Boards (which won't show up anywhere else in Pinterest), you'll need to delete one or make one public before you can create another. You also can’t transfer any of your existing pins - far from ideal. Now that users have been given a taste of ‘privacy on the internet,’ many will want a lot more of it. And that creates a fundamental challenge to Pinterest, because a large part of their strength is in the social reach and infrastructure that gives users – including businesses – a very public and visual platform to broadcast the things they like or that inspire them. Pinterest depends on its public façade – hence by acknowledging the “privacy” issue, they face a tough decision. It’s now near impossible to blend social sharing with privacy; it’s either one or the other, if you want to do it right. The genie is out of the box – and by launching Secret Boards, Pinterest has helped to shine the spotlight on private bookmarking platforms which guarantee unlimited privacy and focus more on the needs of the user, rather than social relevance. There are other platforms – like Clipix.com – an online tool that organizes digital content in people’s lives – and enables privacy without limitations. Clipix allows people to save links, documents, photos and video with one click, and provide a visual and organized environment for all of the things they want to keep track of online. It even allows users to share all of that content with the people they want – all in a private and personalized manner. It’s one of the reasons Clipix.com has been called a practical, usable Pinterest – fulfilling a very large demand in the digital marketplace. And when Pinterest publicly admitted that privacy was so sorely desired that they created it they may be forced with a decision on which direction to take the business. Because of its success as a global social sharing medium, platforms such as Clipix will continue to thrive in a world where privacy on the internet is a rare commodity. People love Pinterest, but they also love privacy – without any limitations. Business moves faster than ever before – certainly something at 5WPR we all understand.
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