I’ve posted a couple of stories about the copyright controversy Pinterest has been stirring due to its foundation on the use of other people’s images. However, there’s another side to that controversy, which is that as popular as the social network has gotten, magazine publishers have been almost frantically looking at ways to leverage it to drive more traffic to their own sites.
Ad Age has an article about these publishers’ pushes for Pinterest. After Time Inc.’s Real Simple said that Pinterest had driven more traffic to it than Facebook, publishers such as the Hearst Group have been holding meetings about how best to use the rapidly-growing social networking site.
"Elle joined Pinterest a little over two weeks ago, so we’re really in the infancy stages here and seeing what works and what doesn’t," [Keith Pollock, editorial director of Elle.com,] said. "What works for Facebook isn’t necessarily working for Tumblr, and what works for Tumblr isn’t necessarily working for Pinterest. … With each one of these platforms, it’s just a completely different behavior and different need, and we try to approach each one with different objectives."
So far, however, the results look promising. "We are seeing traffic increases and high engagement, and it’s great branding for us to get our content out there," said Mr. Pollock.
Other publishers, such as Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and Condé Nast have been jumping on the bandwagon as well.
Pinterest is red-hot right now—it reportedly reached 10 million monthly visitors more quickly than either Twitter or Facebook—so it makes sense publishers would be trying to find a way to use it. But at the same time, the issues over image copyright aren’t going away. Needless to say, copyright is a complicated issue, and it still remains to be seen whether Pinterest can stand up to the scrutiny of those who feel it is taking too many liberties.