Pinterest is an online Pinboard website. Currently the membership is invitation based and you cannot immediately open an account on the site.
I heard about Pinterest on Linkedin and Mashable. So I signed up for an invitation and after a few days I got one. But when I tried to sign up, I saw something that stopped me from joining Pinterest, even though I was really curious to try this service. Pinterest forces you to join your Facebook or Twitter account when signing in:
As you see in the picture above the excuse is that it makes it easier to find my friends and also Pinterest can trust me not to be a spammer. I can of course unlink my account any time, but why would I want to link it on the first place? Why would I give the list of my friends, my interests and more personal data to a service I haven’t even used? Do I know Pinterest? Do I trust it with my data? No! Unfortunately they even don’t give another choice –either you give your Facebook or Twitter account or you cannot join the site at all.
This is what happens when you click the big “Sign Up with Facebook” button:
and this is the twitter connect for Pinterest:
Pinterest is not a part of Facebook or Twitter so it should not require it. Specially at the beginning users do not know the site because they haven’t used it so how can they trust it with their personal and social data. But Pinterest creates a chicken and egg problem! It expects advance payment of trust. And many people don’t do it. I don’t have time to create a fake Facebook account just to try Pinterest so I left it altogether.
The excuse they mention to get users’ private data doesn’t sell. Why should the users care to invite their friends to something they haven’t used yet? How do they know Pinterest will not store their private information? How do they know if Pinterest in fact is not one of those applications which fills up their Facebook and Twitter to promote themselves? I’ll later write how Spotify does that.
Dribbble has an interesting solution. It allows the user to connect their social media account OR just create one using their email:
A new user cannot post. They should be nominated or “drafted” by a member who already can post (in Dribbble terminology a “player”). This way they allow new users to join the service and if they really like to, they can choose to connect their social accounts. However that doesn’t mean they can post. They still need to be “drafted” by a current member. This method has it’s own problems (there are websites just to get you drafted!) but it’s definitely better than Pinterest’s. To try the service, creating a fake Facebook account isn’t hard, but it doesn’t worth it!
Moral of the story: Never force the users to do something they don’t like or need. Just because you think your service is great doesn’t mean other people have to pay with the price you set.