We know that the internet’s not always a healthy place, so a positive outlet is a must. Pinterest is considered by many as a “happy” site/app where they can look at cute puppies and beautiful flower displays, and share them with the world. However, people sometimes search for quotations about anxiety or stress, or even tips on how to cope with burnout.
Pinterest has noticed this and decided to help out. Yesterday, the network unveiled a new collection of wellness activities users can do when they’re anxious, sad, or stressed. If they search for words like “workplace anxiety” or “how to deal with stress”, Pinterest will prompt the user to try some activities to feel better. These wellness activities include breathing exercises, self-compassion exercises, and guided meditations.
The exercises are somewhat separate from Pinterest’s typical interface. Interactions with the feature will not be connected or tracked to user accounts. That also means that users won’t be receiving any ads based on their behavior on the feature.
The Scientists Behind The Activities
Pinterest has collaborated with Brainstorm, the Stanford Lab for Mental Health Innovation along with Vibrant Emotional Health and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline to create the new feature they call the “compassionate search”.
The exercises are by no means a replacement for professional mental health support, as the site’s disclaimer states. But the Pinterest team believes that offering users a dose of comfort can make a real difference. And that assumption has scientific backing from Brainstorm.
The research shows that the “micro-treatments” work. Pinterest’s accessibility on all platforms means people don’t have to download mindfulness apps, which many are still unfortunately reluctant to do. The founder of Brainstorm Nina Vasan believes that this accessibility isn’t too different from people preferring to go to the gym in their building rather than one further away.
This new Pinterest feature is expected to go live in a couple of weeks. Initially, the compassionate search will only be available in the US. However, the company hopes to roll it out to the rest of the world for every “Pinner” in the future. If it works out as expected, it would be a big step towards Pinterest’s goal to make the site “an inspiring and welcoming place for everyone”.