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Pinterest: An Interesting Idea for Pharma?

Posted by | 11:34am on Friday, March 2, 2012

Pinterest does not appear to allow boards to turn off or moderate comments before they go live 

If you haven’t heard about the new social network Pinterest, it’s a “virtual pinboard.” It allows users to organize and share internet content (typically images) by pinning it to virtual boards. The boards can be public, so users can follow each other and comment. Per Pinterest, “Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.”

The site is growing rapidly, and according to comScore, in January Pinterest attracted 11.7M unique visitors with the average user spending 98 minutes per month on the site. The site skews female (18-34 years old) and Midwestern.

As a writer I like words, but for visual thinkers Pinterest provides a creative opportunity. A few blogs and a discussion during the last #SocPharm tweetchat got me thinking about the possibilities for biopharma companies and brands. I especially like the idea of using photos to tell the story of a patient’s journey to diagnosis. However, there are a few big concerns.

Commenting
Pinterest does not appear to allow boards to turn off or moderate comments before they go live. For the pharma industry this presents a concern, since all comments would have to be monitored.

Copyright concerns
The bigger issue is the current controversy over legal rights to the images being pinned. According to this Ad Age article, a company should only use images that they have licensed for unlimited internet use. This makes the tool much less interesting and appealing to use. The Pinterest terms of use clearly puts the copyright responsibility on the users. Most Pinterest users would probably be surprised to find out that they could be at risk to get sued.

And then there is the eternal question—what’s the ROI of Pinterest?

I think it’s an interesting network and one that I’ll be monitoring, but currently not something that I’ll be recommending for biotech and pharmaceutical companies. What do you think about using Pinterest for biopharma? Please comment below.

(Image courtesy of Stephen Depolo on Flickr).

About Eileen O'Brien

Eileen has more than 16 years of digital healthcare marketing experience. She is an opinion leader on social media and biopharma, and has been invited to speak at industry conferences and quoted in publications.

View other posts from Eileen

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