Last year, I was finally convinced to start taking Pinterest seriously, not only as a fantastic resource but as an easy and successful way to promote my blog posts to a new audience. It was initially a massive learning curve and it seemed to take forever to set up – rich pins, vertical images, SEO friendly descriptions, group boards, BoardBooster… There were a number of times when I wanted to delete my account and throw my laptop against the wall, but through the support and patience of my bloggy friend, I finally had an account that I was proud of.
And low and behold, the views started coming in. It was small at first – around April of last year I was receiving a few hundred views a month, but by September they had skyrocketed to the point where I was getting close to 20,000 for the month. Not bad for a newbie.
My referrals from Pinterest remained fairly steady after that at the 10,000-15,000 mark, with occasional spikes when I shared a new post. I loved it and used it more than any other area of social media, not just for my own blog, but for useful recipes, thrifty ideas, beauty tips and cleaning hacks from new blogs that I found.
That is, until February, when Pinterest’s functionality and effectiveness suddenly took a nosedive, although I know that it was earlier than that for others. With update after update after bloody update, I’ve spent the last six weeks in Pinterest hell, desperately attempting to figure out how new things worked. The layout changed to something less attractive and not as user friendly. My title doesn’t fit the space. I’ve had boards move around by themselves, or completely disappear and then return again and there’s been some days where I’ve not been able to use the search function at all. My images sometimes don’t show correctly. I was suddenly followed by a whole bunch of spam accounts. The once informative and useful posts I received in my feed have been replaced with lots of adverts, my own pins or pins from people I don’t follow. I can’t message people. When I’ve tried adding people to my group board their invitation hasn’t gone through. Instead of seeing requests directly in my notifications, they are now mixed in with a whole bunch of things that other people have saved.
And worse still, my views disappeared over the course of a week to less than half of what I was getting before and have remained so ever since.
Then, to add the icing on the (what is turning out to be) very bitter cake, I sat down with The Bloke to help him set up a Pinterest account, to support his new photography website. After setting up the boards and starting to pin some beautiful images, ALL of the descriptions completely disappeared. Thinking it was another glitch, The Bloke emailed Pinterest, only to be told that his account was being used as a tester for their ‘image only’ Pinterest layout despite the fact that he hadn’t been asked first nor given permission for them to do this, and he was NOT allowed to opt out of it. The descriptions are still there when someone else looks at his boards, but this is what one of them looks like from his account on his iPad:
I hate it. It makes it really slow to pin things, having to click on each pin to access the description (which seems ridiculous now they’ve added in a faster pinning tool), and it looks bare.
I’m not the only one to have experienced huge difficulties. Speaking to numerous bloggers within my community, almost all have had problems. Reports of an enormous drop in views, disappearing boards, poorly functioning search options and spam accounts are rife, so I feel confident in saying that the platform seems to be in a bit of a mess.
The Bloke is an IT Technician and Web Designer, so I understand that updates need to be done to ensure that everything works properly, particularly of something this size, but this has been much more than an update – it’s undergone an entire revamp, one that nobody appears to have wanted (highlighting the whole ‘if something isn’t broken, why fix it?) and it has been a less than positive experience for many. Of course, there’s always the argument that it is a free resource to use, but it may have been an easier pill to swallow if the Pinterest community had actually been consulted first, as it is them that makes the platform a success.
I just hope that it stops soon and I can get back to appreciating what is the most visually pleasing and interesting and fun way to blog!
What about you guys? Have you had issues with Pinterest since the updates?
You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks, my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks and my Instagram page http://www.instagram.com/suzie81speaks.