For Pinterest, it is of particular value and significance that its users know that it is not a social network. Pinterest was a visual discovery startup when it was made in 2011 and has since grown into one of the most used services on the internet and is used all over the world. It is so widely used that it is now popularly, yet wrongly, considered a social network. On 21st April 2017, it was announced that Pinterest is now killing the “like button“. The company claims that people engage with Pins more when the like option isn’t there.
It also said that users often find it difficult to distinguish between the “save” and “like” buttons. It seems Pinterest only wants to improve itself for its user base, however, there might be more to it.
It appears that Pinterest is trying to move away from social media platforms that also happen to be photo heavy and away from the idea that it is a social network, which it isn’t, as many social media sites have a like button or similar options. In an E-mail to Recode, a Pinterest spokesperson wrote:
While other companies want you to live in a virtual world, Pinterest encourages people to live in the real world. We like to say, be yourself and not your selfie. There are many services out there with the mission of helping you connect and share with friends; we’re the one app exclusively in the visual discovery business.
Pinterest might simply want to avoid being compared to Facebook, as many other social networks (such as Twitter and Snapchat) are indeed put in comparison to it. As Facebook is huge in scale and size, it is best not to be evaluated against it, especially if you aren’t the same thing. Pinterest is now letting the masses know that it is different from Facebook and other social media outlets.