Pinterest courting businesses with more tools, updated terms of service

Summary:Pinterest might be taking a proactive approach to pleasing businesses before they can even get upset over potential copyright issues.

Pinterest has introduced a set of new resources intended to court businesses as well as an updated terms of services page.

To get started, companies can sign up on the Pinterest for Business site to specify their business name and to secure access to new and upcoming business-specific features.

Some of those tools include branding guides, case studies, and best practices. That last one might seem a bit premature as the Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup only opened to the public in 2010.

Nevertheless, there are already plenty of businesses that have jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon -- especially within the last year as, well, interest in the platform has exploded. A few of those companies sharing case studies already include Jetsetter, Etsy and Allrecipes.

While they didn't cite a specific number, Pinterest reps said that there are already "thousands of businesses" signed up for Pinterest. (For reference, brands with existing Pinterest accounts can convert to these to the new business-focused accounts.)

In August, SAP and NetBase declared that Pinterest was the fastest growing social site ever , and there aren't many signs of it slowing down yet.

Well, except for maybe one problem that has been looming over the sharing platform since it started to gain attention: copyright issues.

Pinterest made an attempt at addressing this problem earlier this year with an opt-out feature that would allow businesses to block having their images "pinned" by Pinterest users. However, the discussion has still not entirely gone away.

But really, many businesses have realized the (essentially free) advertising potential that Pinterest offers. It's a digital and visual form of word-of-mouth, not to mention it's also another social media stream for businesses try to shape their brands and connect with consumers.

Product manager Cat Lee also explained in a blog post on Thursday about the new terms of service for businesses, which are separate from the ones for individual users. This is likely to both smooth out some ruffled feathers in advance of a potential lawsuit while trying to attract new business users at the same time.

Topics: Social Enterprise, Apps, Smartphones, Tablets

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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