By: Bob Tantlinger
Recently I was tasked with logging social media interaction on a site utilizing the “buttons” (what do you call those anyway) of Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.
We wanted to be able to record not only when a social media button was clicked, but when an actual share, like, or whatever took place. In other words, we needed to know that the user actually did the share. Nothing very difficult. Most of the big players in social media have handy APIs that let you subscribe to events they fire off when a share takes place, which makes this fairly straight forward. In a perfect world it WOULD be easy, but there’s -always- a monkey wrench lurking around the corner ready to ruin your day. In this case the monkey wrench was a royal “Pin in the Ass.” I am referring to, of course, Pinterest.
Pinterest is the newest social media fad, so their button is popping up all over the place at an alarming rate. Everyone is rushing to get their images pinned to the worlds biggest pin board. But there’s a problem. While Pinterest’s “Pin it” button works fine, they offer no offical API, so unlike the other social media services, there’s not much you can do with the Pin It button. You can stick it on your site, and that’s it. You cannot track events, such as when a “pin” occurs, or even when someone simply clicks on the darn thing.