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Recently, Pinterest soft launched a mode in their mobile app that would allow readers to see the entire recipe from a food site without actually visiting the site.
Content creators everywhere went a little bit bananas, and rightly so. After all, that takes away a session, any ad views, and in some cases would cause an ad policy violation, if your adhesion ad loaded behind the card that appeared.
But let’s stop for a minute and talk about the motivation behind such a soft launch.
Your site’s speed, especially on mobile, is yours to enhance or damage. When it’s damaged? The thing that suffers is your user experience. Readers don’t want to wait 3 seconds for a site to load on their mobile data connection. That’s an eternity in mobile web browsing.
When you’re an outside source (Pinterest, Facebook, or Google, to name a few) wanting to send traffic to that content, you can bet that the complaint you hear from your users about a particular pin taking forever to load is eventually going to factor into how you do things.
We’re willing to bet site speed was the motivation behind Pinterest’s change. If they could get the reader the useful information without forcing them to wait through a slow load time, why not do it? That makes the reader’s experience better, and your content is still seen.
We’ve been banging on about the importance of site speed since the start of Mediavine. It’s why our ads can load up to 200% faster. We run this technology on our own sites, and get traffic from the very same sources as you. It’s not in our nature to tick off the hand that feeds our sites or yours.
It’s common knowledge that Google cares about this. If we’re right, this test that Pinterest rolled out is proof that Google is not the only one. Facebook has indicated similarly.
Obviously, there are a lot of pitfalls with this Pinterest change for the content creator. Which is why many bloggers began voicing concern. Our own MVP, Crissy Page, led the charge.
Hey, @Pinterest, we’ve always gone together like PB&J. As a #blogger, I’m appalled that my content & voice can now be bypassed. #Pinterest 👎 pic.twitter.com/BLoVLRlLqq
— Crissy Page (@Crissy) October 17, 2017
Many people, MVPs and non, began retweeting and sharing Crissy’s message. Changes like this to a platform like Pinterest – they need to work for the reader and the content creator. This particular change was, in our opinion, a one-sided improvement.
The good news is, this was just a test.
It’s wonderful that when any one group of people stands together to make their voices heard, real change can happen. And that’s exactly what you all made a reality! Pinterest has disabled this test mode following all the feedback.
Thanks @Crissy & all for the feedback! The test is off & we look forward to more convos so bloggers + Pinners get value from mobile updates.
— Pinterest (@Pinterest) October 18, 2017
The folks at Pinterest heard Crissy and everyone that retweeted her. They heard us when we emailed in support of everything each of you had to say. And they made changes to reflect what was right for both of their user types.
Every company that’s trying to balance user experience and content presentation (ourselves included!) is going to make mistakes sometimes. It’s what you do to rectify that mistake that makes all the difference.
In this blogger’s opinion, Pinterest handled the feedback well, and quickly, with a whole lot of grace.
We’re so proud of our MVPs for standing up, and we’re proud to stand with them. We’ll do whatever we can to advocate for you guys. Whether it’s influencer marketing or an issue like this that crops up – our relationships with each of you is what makes Mediavine what it is. Thank you for being amazing.
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