Like most free services, Pinterest comes with its own risks. User profiles are susceptible to hacks, accidental deletion, and even intentional deletion without notice (see section 4C in Pinterest’s Terms of Service).
To combat these unpredictable dangers, one devoted pinner has launched a backup service, Pin4Ever. With help from her programmer husband Ray, Christina Mendoza devised the resource as a safeguard for the pinboards she doesn’t want to lose.
“I came up with the idea of Pin4Ever because I hated the thought of possibly losing all the valuable and motivating information on my Pinterest boards,” she wrote. “It would be like losing a part of me, and a source of inspiration for my self-improvement and personal growth.”
Mendoza’s personal pinboards exhibit her eclectic life: An artist, thrifter, MENSA member, and stray animal adopter, she lists both Jesus and Congressman Ron Paul as heroes. But no matter what sort of miscellany pinners add to their boards, Mendoza believes those images are essential and worth preserving.
“Pinning images of home decor and cute animals, tips on cleaning and parenting, quotes that inspire us, and crafts and recipes that we want to try helps us define ourselves and what we value in life,” she wrote in an official statement. “Our pins also help us envision who we want to be, and can serve as a springboard for us to achieve our goals and live better, happier lives.”
It’s possible for pinners to preserve their pins one by one, but that could be tedious, especially if they have over 1,000 pins like Mendoza. Pin4Ever does the same thing, but as an instant backup that takes up less computer memory than a manual one. Your first backup is free and lasts one month. Backups lasting up to a year cost up from $0.99 to $19.99.
But is Pin4Ever legal? It appears so.
Pinterest's Acceptable Use Policy allows users "to … download User Content or Pinterest Content from the Services ... through the use of ... software and/or search agents provided by Pinterest or other generally available third party web browsers.”
And on her FAQ page, Mendoza assures users that Pinterest would allow it, given that the service is offered as a free, third-party Web browser that "does not intercept, redirect or track your internet activity in any unique way."
As Mendoza told the Daily Dot: "We are confident that our customers' use of the Pin4Ever browser to download a personal backup copy of their pins is permitted under Pinterest's terms; otherwise, we wouldn't be in business."
Correction: An earlier version of this story reported that Pinterest's Acceptable Use Policy explicity denied users the right to create backups of Pinterest content. That is not the case. The headline was updated to reflect this change. We regret the error.
Photo via Christina Mendoza/Pinterest