Pinterest's new play: working out your mood from your searches

Pinterest
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If your Pinterest searches suggest that you're stressed, the site will now offer 'emotional well-being activities' to help you feel better.

When you search for something like 'stress quotes', 'work anxiety' or something else that indicates that you're feeling blue, you'll be presented with various exercises created in partnership with Brainstorm, Stanford University's mental health innovation lab.

These include step-by-step mindfulness and breathing exercises, which are intended as an interactive way to help improve your mood, and aren't connected to your personal account.

Of course, mental health is a deeply private topic, and has to be treated sensitively and confidentially. TechCrunch reports that Pinterest doesn't store details of who is using the new wellness activities, and that users' activity is "stored anonymously using a third-party service".

"The experience is not meant to replace professional care," product manager Annie Ta said in a blog post, "but it may help someone if they need support."

The update is rolling out to mobile app users in the US right now, and the company hopes to expand it worldwide soon.

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This isn't the first time Pinterest has stepped in to take action on users' searches. Earlier this year, the site took dramatic action to tackle the spread of misinformation by refusing to return results when users search for controversial topics like vaccination. Instead of seeing links to articles containing potentially misleading advice, users are presented with a blank, white page.

“We’re a place where people come to find inspiration, and there is nothing inspiring about harmful content, said Pinterest's public policy and social impact manager Ifeoma Ozoma. “Our view on this is we’re not the platform for that.”