Social media companies are increasingly coming up with new ways to help them understand their audiences better. However, it has been observed that the various efforts made to achieve this goal fall flat.
For instance, when Facebook started pushing in its “targeted ads,” outrage ensued after it was found that it was using personal information to determine which commercials should appear in users’ news feeds.
This week, virtual pinboard website Pinterest also failed miserably in its attempt to show its members that it knows them well enough.
The Pinterest team sent out an email to some of its users, congratulating them on their upcoming weddings. While the initiative was heartwarming, there was but one major problem: the women who received the messages were not getting married.
The erroneous emails started out with subject lines like: “Hundreds of wedding invitations (P.S. You might find the one)” and others read: “You’re getting married! And because we love wedding planning — especially all the lovely stationery — we invite you to browse our best boards curated by graphic designers, photographers and fellow brides-to-be, all Pinners with a keen eye and marriage on the mind.”
While some recipients found it hilarious, others were less than pleased.
The unhappy – and unattached – Pinterest users complaining about the emails were first spotted by New York Magazine.
Have a look at some of the reactions:
That awkward moment when I pin so much wedding stuff that Pinterest thinks I'm getting married. 😳😂 pic.twitter.com/FPWDrkc6ZE— Kati Martinez (@kati_martinez) September 3, 2014
Pinterest just sent me an email with the subject "you're getting married!" because I pin so much wedding related stuff....😂😂😂— Madison Butler (@svuaboveallxo) September 4, 2014
Too many pins to my "dream wedding" board that Pinterest thinks I'm actually getting married..I can't even get a bf.. pic.twitter.com/pIZzD1fl2w— IlianaBarron (@ilianaashley21) September 4, 2014
Lol Pinterest thinks I'm getting married. Nope, I'm just single and pathetic 😁 pic.twitter.com/FbbU8l6BlS— Phylicia Flynn (@PhyliciaFlynn) September 4, 2014
A subsequent clarification was provided by Pinterest to NY Mag:
“Every week, we email collections of category-specific pins and boards to pinners we hope will be interested in them. Unfortunately, one of these recent emails suggested that pinners were actually getting married, rather than just potentially interested in wedding-related content. We're sorry we came off like an overbearing mother who is always asking when you'll find a nice boy or girl.”