“We’ve retired the ‘Like’ button!”

Okay, I haven’t used Pinterest in a while—but is anybody else confused by this decision?

You’d be hard pressed to find a social media platform that doesn’t have at least one button that, when clicked upon, visibly increases an overall total by one. The concept of quickly and easily endorsing content is one that internet has fallen in love with—and made it such a part of our daily lives that even mainstream media has seen it as a serious marketing avenue. Entire campaigns are now tailored around the routine “scrolling of the timeline”—which people frequently do while they’re on the toilet, or otherwise idling their minds.

Facebook is what most people think of when they think of the act of “liking” a post—and is what other popular sites have modelled themselves after in an attempt to duplicate Facebook’s success. Other sites have their own variants: star ratings, thumbs up/thumbs down, hearts, stars, etc. They all involve a form of documented interaction, and this interaction is made available to every viewer; it’s a way to gauge popularity at a glance. The most popular content gets the most likes. Simple as that!

So why, then, is Pinterest removing this feature?

Pinterest is about collecting your favourite content on virtual cork-boards—so, in a way, this kind of makes sense for them as a platform. Until now there were two main ways to interact with Pinterest posts: liking or pinning them (similar to reblogging on Tumblr or retweeting on Twitter) to your chosen boards. Both are separate actions and contribute to separate statistics.

As of recently, all content that users previously liked on Pinterest have been automatically pinned to their own board—still visible—but the system for gauging popularity has now become more convoluted. Part of the appeal of the like button is its ease of use; I can absentmindedly scroll a timeline and endorse dozens of posts a day!

In summary: Pinterest is making a bold step away from what’s come to be considered the norm in social media. This could be good, or it could be very bad for the service. Time will tell.

That’s it for today! As I said before, I have topic posts planned—and this wasn’t going to be one of them but when I opened the site through a Google image search result the message was waiting for me—but I’ll be sharing them in the days to come.

~Niki

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