Anyone who has spent significant time on social media – especially as of late – knows it’s not always the most positive place in the world. There are very visible dark corners, where cynicism roams, and crude jokes are applauded by likes, retweets, and followers who appreciate that particular brand of absurdity. Although not exclusively, oftentimes, social media is a place where being rude equates to being trend-worthy. Sometimes it feels like the world’s high school, where all the old rules still apply.
It’s because of those infamous schoolyard bully and mean-girl tropes that social media sometimes can’t seem to get out of its own way. Almost as if it can’t look itself in the mirror and realize it’s young and still has some growing up to do. Then there’s Pinterest.
Both the rule and the exception, Pinterest is free from those aforementioned dark corners. Free from the cynicism that runs ramped on other social media platforms. It’s where the communication among users is uplifting and refreshingly kind. Somehow, in a flood of everything other, it’s has remained a positive place for inspiration, ideas, and community.
But does this mean that Pinterest is the last positive place online? Is it the final frontier of truly positive social media networking?
While Pinterest is a clear outlier in its field, many still love and enjoy its contemporaries and all that they offer. Some even visit them more than they do Pinterest. But the creative platform is still the example to follow regarding positivity. Today we’re exploring the reasons why.
How They Did It
There isn’t nearly the one-to-one user interaction on Pinterest as, say, Instagram or Facebook. But technically, there isn’t supposed to be. While very impactful communication does take place on the platform (and often), it primarily aims to connect users to their thoughts by helping them find inspiration through discovery. The outreach on Pinterest is different because the very objective of Pinterest is different.
The communication style isn’t ongoing and up-to-the-moment, like most social networks. Therefore it tends to calm those all too familiar social triggers that ignite anxiety, anger, fear, and a huge issue in social media today, misinformation. The dialogue on Pinterest, in a word, is reinforcing. Creatives are championed for their ideas, celebrated for their work, and rewarded for the completion of their projects.
Knowing Exactly Who They Are
Pinterest is handling the global pandemic better than most by blocking Coronavirus searches on its platform. This works to keep content safe from misinformation, over information, and the negativity then can stem from drowning in the unfortunate nature of our current circumstances. They seem to understand that, by design, they are not a news outlet, and specific topics are better suited for other spaces.
With countless initiatives similar to its reductive approach to COVID-19, it’s clear that the brand prioritizes the mental wellness of its users. They’ve created an ideal world for users to remain within or to retreat to.
This isn’t to say that the brand lacks care for things happening in the real world. Quite the opposite, actually. In the past year alone, the company has activated new women’s empowerment and equality projects, support efforts for the protection of the LGBTQ community, and by promoting trends and crafts that are proven to enhance mental and physical well-being.
Although it can’t control the outside world, Pinterest is great at maintaining an ideal world within its web confines.
The Proof is in the Stats
Not only is Pinterest the pinnacle of positivity, but users are also taking noticing by flocking to the platform to cash in on the good vibes. After overtaking Snapchat this past January to become the third-largest social media network in the US, despite current events, Pinterest expects even more growth throughout 2020.
How They’re Sustaining It
Pinterest users spend time creating things that make them feel good as opposed to spreading news that may be incorrect or could make someone feel lesser. Because of this well-natured approach to interaction, and how the brand itself is tailored based on these behavioral traits, it allows for sustainability measures that not only maintain a positive community but also help to amplify it.
In the last year alone, Pinterest has put even more programs in place to promote “emotional well-being activities.” This initiative automatically suggests specific positive trends if a user searches a term that would indicate stress or anxiety.
They also partnered with the World Health Organization (WHO) last year for World Mental Health Day. WHO saved new Pins aimed to reduce the stigma of suicide and provide ways to support those who may be in need. It’s partnerships like these that ensure while other brands tend to struggle with the problems of the world, Pinterest digs in and finds solutions.
Generally, we’re all positive beings. We want good, try to do good, and seek to promote goodness. Pinterest found a way to tap into the things that make us good and created their platform around those pillars of well-being.
So, is Pinterest the last positive space online? Well, it’s undoubtedly one of the few, and its existence may very well inspire another safe haven online.
Finding a calming mental and emotional space online shouldn’t be an ongoing fight. But it is a battle Pinterest aims to win, even if they seem to be going at it alone.
If you’re new to Pinterest, here’s our definitive guide to Pinterest best practices for brands and business owners.