Is Pinterest A Spammer’s Paradise?
Lately, I’m hearing rumblings of complaints of spammers on Pinterest. It was only a matter of time until spammers realized that Pinterest could be utilized to quickly spam users with nonsense links to spam offers.
Why is Pinterest one of the easiest social media platforms for spammers to take advantage of?
To see pins and interact with Pinterest users, you do not need to be friends or following the person. Everything on Pinterest is public, so spammers can easily follow anyone they want. By taking advantage of the most popular categories (wedding, apparel, crafts, food), spammers can get their images and links quickly to the public. This is similar to the strategy of Twitter spammers utilizing the trending topics to quickly get their links to a large group of people. Creating spam accounts on Pinterest takes very little time for the spammer and requires no money to be invested to be successful.
How do you know if you accounts are spammers? There are a few tell-tale signs that someone is a spammer.
- These accounts have very little information about the user.
- Many have a picture of a woman ages 20-35 (Pinterest’s main demographics) with just a first name
- These accounts are almost always set up through a Twitter account that is either spam or has never been used (0 followers, 0 following, 0 tweets). Spam accounts are barely ever tied to Facebook accounts because it is much easier to create spam Twitter accounts.
There are other ways to identify Pinterest spam:
When looking at the profile of a Pinterest spammer, they will likely have several hundred boards with 1-2 pins on each board with over 700 pins (not that having a lot of pins is the making of a spammer, I have almost 700, myself).
When looking at the links that these pins go back to, they will likely be bit.ly or some other form of link tracking URLs which will click to a spam offer like these:
The pins are always uploaded directly by the spammer and rarely have re-pins….
Utilizing the ability to write captions for the images, spammers will write captions that have nothing to do with the image or board theme, such as this wedding dress image with the cruise deal caption…
When the link to this wedding dress image is clicked, it does not go to a cruise offer, instead it goes to a spam Victoria’s Secret coupon.
To make their account look more legitimate, spammers will often re-pin from other spammers now that the new Pinterest profile shows who the user has re-pinned the most from.
When you realize that a Pinterest spammer is following you or you come across an image that is obviously a spammed image, what is there to do? With the current Pinterest layout, there is no way to report a user, but hopefully with the updated TOS, that will come soon; however it is possible to report individual pins…
At this time, Pinterest has only banned one spam account, but with the publicity about spam accounts, there will hopefully be more banned accounts in the future. The owner of the first account to be banned due to spamming, Steve, sat down in an interview with The Daily Dot to share his plan on the banning of accounts: “…they banned one account…But like I said before, I do have a stockpile of accounts and I can easily create more if needed”. Unless Pinterest redesigns its registration process, it seems like Pinterest spammers may be here to stay. Be careful when re-pinning content and make sure it is from a legitimate source. Always think before you pin.
As always, Happy Pinning!
Our bloggers take the time to write up industry articles that cover a wide variety of topics. From Search to Social, Online Reputation Management to Google Local, Website Audits to Mobile optimization... we cover it all. Sign up below to get on our mailing list. You won't regret it.