Pinterest Highlights Positive Benefits of Pinterest Use via New Study

Pinterest is trying to differentiate itself from different social apps, by highlighting how its programs are constructed to facilitate more positive, beneficial experiences, versus addictive, compulsive behaviors.

Via a new study with UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, Pinterest says that daily interplay with inspiring content material within the app helped Gen Z faculty college students to buffer towards burnout and stress, ‘even once they have been finding out for hectic faculty exams’. 

Although the examine was considerably uncommon – Pinterest had a bunch of examine members both use Pinterest for 10 minutes per day or resolve on-line jigsaw puzzles for similar quantity of time, constantly over two weeks. The comparability was designed to offer some measure of differential profit between utilizing Pinterest or conducting one other impartial exercise.

The researchers discovered that as the top of yr exams interval approached, stress and nervousness ranges within the members elevated:

“Nevertheless, in college students assigned to the Pinterest situation, we discovered that simply 10 minutes a day in search of out inspiration buffered towards the rising burnout, stress and social disconnectedness we may see of their vagal tone knowledge. This had penalties for emotional wellbeing, bodily well being and social connectedness.

The examine additionally discovered that lively engagement with inspiring content material on Pinterest ‘mitigated the results of bodily stress on folks’s day by day optimistic emotion, preserving their capability for feeling good’, whereas social connectedness additionally elevated.

“We additionally discovered that increased ranges of inspiration make it simpler to calm down. This increased degree of rest was uniquely «unlocked» by in search of inspiration on Pinterest, and was not true of the management situation.

It’s an fascinating examine, and whereas the comparability between on-line puzzles and Pinterest use might not be wholly indicative of common advantages of utilizing Pinterest, it does present some measure of how the platform can encourage optimistic feelings and experiences.

Along with this, Pinterest has additionally outlined how its efforts on this front have varied from other platforms, because it’s sought to align its instruments round extra wholesome interactions, versus optimizing for uncooked engagement.

Over the past decade, we’ve made deliberate selections to engineer a extra optimistic place on-line. For instance, our algorithm prioritizes express alerts from individuals who use Pinterest: extra aware, lively engagements, like “saving” an concept. We use these lively alerts to find out what you see first on Pinterest.

Pinterest says that social platforms needs to be extra intentional concerning the content material they rank, and extra practical concerning the results it could actually trigger.

“Rating for views can definitely promote some nice, entertaining content material, however sadly it’s simply pretty much as good at surfacing divisive and polarizing content material that retains folks hooked. If we’re going to curb the disaster that social media has created, the solely possibility is to inform AI to do one thing totally different.

Pinterest says that it’s trying to buck this pattern by specializing in ‘impressed actions’, and direct person alerts, in an effort to solely present folks what they wish to see, not what’s going to preserve them scrolling, essentially.

“A very good instance of one of these actions is ‘saves’. When folks see one thing on Pinterest that they wish to act on, they hit ‘save’. And once we prioritize what will get ‘saved’ within the content material we present folks first on the platform, out of the blue the pictures and movies which might be top-performing don’t distract you out of your life (like gross-out movies or conspiracy theories), however really allow you to enhance it (like step-by-step guides, self-care concepts, inspirational quotes, how-to movies). Just by telling AI to prioritize one thing extra nourishing, we are able to construct a extra optimistic and provoking web.”

Pinterest additionally highlights its insurance policies to guard teenagers, its inclusive options and different parts designed to make it a extra welcoming, optimistic social media house.

It’s an fascinating consideration, and it’s one thing that almost all social platforms have at the very least voiced, regarding the want to create extra significant, useful experiences, versus maximizing time spent. However on the similar time, person counts and time spent are key metrics for social platforms, so it is sensible that they’re trying to optimize for these metrics – which, as Pinterest notes, may see detrimental content material amplified, as argument and division are core parts in ‘engagement’ via feedback responses.

It’s good to see Pinterest taking a extra definitive stand on this, and whereas the comparability examine could not really feel like a definitive argument for its full advantages, it does give some indication that Pinterest utilization can result in optimistic and useful experiences.

You possibly can learn the total examine here, and Pinterest’s overview of its method here.

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