Of all the social media platforms, Pinterest might be the least reliant on the kind of influencer culture associated with Instagram, YouTube and others. But that might be starting to change. Last September, the company Story Pins and creator profiles, both of which were meant to make it easier for its highest profile users to show off their projects and build a following on the platform.
Now, Pinterest is taking those efforts a step further. The company is launching a “Creator Fund” to pay a small group of influencers to create content for the platform. The fund will provide $500,000 in cash and media to small groups of influencers throughout 2021, starting with eight creators who come from under-represented backgrounds. But the company plans to add more people to the program throughout the year.
With the fund, Pinterest becomes the latest company to lure influencers with direct financial support. TikTok also launched a last year and Snapchat’s has paid out millions to users who create the most popular videos. Compared with those efforts, Pinterest’s approach is much more modest. But the company is making clear that it's also trying to build a different kind of influencer culture than other platforms.
Alongside the fund, Pinterest also introduced a new set of policies for its creators that go beyond the company’s existing community guidelines. The requires all Pinterest users who have access to Story Pins (not just the ones who receive funding from the company) to agree to a set of guidelines that include fact-checking and creating an inclusive environment. In practice, the code doesn’t change Pinterest's existing policies, which already prohibits things like health misinformation and hate speech.
“The Creator Code is intended to encourage Creators to really understand and bring to life the spirit – as well as the intent – of our content policies,” Pinterest’s head of Policy Sarah Bromma told Engadget in an email. “They won’t have their own set of policies but will be held to the same standards as all of our users on issues such as content safety, intellectual property and spam.”
Separately, Pinterest also unveiled new comment moderation features, which will encourage users to leave more positive comments and warn when a message may break the company’s rules. The feature is similar to tools used by and , which also have the ability to proactively warn users before they post rule-breaking comments.