- Pinterest in July introduced a feature that brings together activities to help people improve their mental health, while saying its artificial intelligence (AI) technology helped to cut complaints about self-harm content by 88% from a year prior. The social media company announced its expanded resources to coincide with World Mental Health Day on Oct. 10.
- The platform now lets users search for "#pinterestwellbeing" to see a group of online activities designed to promote feelings of gratitude and self-compassion, along with interactive exercises that may help people struggling with emotional well-being. It also updated the illustrations and animations in the activities to give them a fresh, inviting look.
- Users in the U.S. can now connect directly with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline with one tap. The image-pinning platform removed recommendations for 4,600 additional terms and phrases related to self-harm, redirecting those searches to resources for free and confidential support. People whose digital pinboards include content that indicate they may be in distress will also be delivered these resources.
Pinterest's focus on mental health aims to promote good will among its users while providing a brand-safe environment for advertisers. The expanded features to support emotional well-being follow prior efforts to help users cope with stress, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. By grouping these resources under a "#pinterestwellbeing" umbrella, the platform can deliver content to users instead of forcing them to search for individual terms like "work anxiety" or "stress quotes."
The platform mostly has a reputation for being a place where people collect inspirational images of things that make them happy, and has worked to avoid being labeled as a social media company alongside Facebook and Twitter. That distinction is key amid growing awareness of the association between social media and incidents of cyberbullying and depression.
Pinterest this year said it was inspired to add mental health resources after seeing millions of searches related to emotional distress. The company blacklisted phrases like "self-harm," "cutting," "bulimia" and "thinspiration" several years ago, Wired reported. Instead of providing pins related to those topics, Pinterest displays information for resources.
Pinterest continues to expand its offerings to drive engagement and boost shopping, including Shop the Look ads in a collections format for mobile platforms, more dynamic business profiles and a global expansion of catalogs and shopping ads. More than half (57%) of weekly Pinterest users, called Pinners, use the app while shopping in stores, according to a study by market researcher GfK. The platform's revenue jumped 62% to $261.2 million in Q2 from a year earlier as its user base surpassed 300 million.