Better Pinterest Contests?

Contests are a popular and effective method to acquire new users in the social media realm, and, hands down, one of the best digital destinations to run those sorts of initiatives these days is on Pinterest.

Contests can sometimes result in low-quality acquisitions of course, and brands need to be careful of the methods they use if the aim is to build a more relevant and loyal following on the network (which it should be). Pinterest has added several guidelines to its Acceptable Use Policy to ensure the Pinterest experience remains optimal for users, brands and Pinterest itself. Well, that, or they're simply preparing for the launch of their own contest feature.

In the future, Pinterest will not allow contests that suggest Pinterest sponsors or endorses the brand or the promotion. The new guidelines also forbid requiring people to Pin from a selection (like a website or a list of Pins), run sweepstakes where each Pin, board, like or follow represents an entry, encourages behavior such as asking participants to comment, ask to vote with Pins, boards or likes, or, require a minimum number of likes.

I don't know about you, but these new guidelines seem a little, well, misguided. In its own post on the subject, Pinterest says "The best way to help people find your business on Pinterest is to make it easy to add Pins from your site or app so Pinners can collect the things they love and share them with their followers." It's quite difficult to argue against that, but then Pinterest seems to say one thing and do another. Case in point, Pinterest no longer allows contests that require people to Pin from a selection (like a website or list of Pins). That, to me, seems pretty contrary to its stated objective.

So what do you think? Is Pinterest reeling in advertisers and marketers before it gets ready to launch its very own contest platform?