There has been a lot of discussion over the last twelve months surrounding the attempt to protect copyrighted material across the Internet. Pinterest, a popular new social media site that is based around users ‘pinning’ pages or images they find useful, has released a meta tag for website owners that will help them protect copyrighted material. The tag itself is easy to apply – <meta name=”pinterest” content=”nopin”> – this will prevent users from ‘pinning’ your content.
Should you prevent users from using services like Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Facebook or any other social media site. In most cases, it may be shooting yourself in the foot. An article on econsultancy.com makes for interesting reading, more so the comments. One comment really sticks out:
“Sorry, thanks for liking our brand and all but please don’t share it with your friends, we’d rather they found it themselves somehow.”
Social media is all about sharing, and except in special cases, you most likely DO want users to share your content, especially if it links back to your website, with their friends. Pinterest is an interesting example since it is currently driving decent traffic to websites. The article does make the point that over time, users may well read your content on Pinterest and not click through to your website. However, if your pages are well branded, then your brand may well stick in their memory for a later date.
It does beg the question, should you be branding your images? If you own the image, then it probably should be branded in some way, even if it’s just your logo in one of the corners. Every time some one uses that image, they’ll also be spreading your brand, and that includes across social media sites. If you do have content that you don’t want shared, then be sure to clearly state that it is copyrighted, and to use a meta tag like that used for Pinterest.