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I heard about the tool Viral Tag on LinkedIn and thought I’d try it out. They offer a 14 day free trial, but after that, there are 3 paid plans. $4.99/mo for the limited plan, $12/mo for the basic plan, and $28/mo for the premium plan. The tool is intended to allow you to automate posting to Pinterest.
You can upload your own images and schedule the times you want them pinned or you can use their “discover” function to find pictures to pin. On some images there is an “enhance image” feature where you can brighten it, change some colors and add some text. All sounds okay . . . if you want to automate your social media.
I wish they would post about the legalities involved in sharing the images on their site in the “discover” area. Who owns the rights to the pictures? Some have the “enhance” option and others don’t. So do different pictures have different rights attached to them? Who supplies the pictures and where is the license information for sharing and altering them?
They credit the source, but that isn’t the same as permission. My question is; do they have that permission and where is the info on what I can or cannot do with those pictures? There are a lot of copyright trolls out there, lawyers who love to sue you for even “bending” the rules when it comes to using someone else’s images. I’d like to see ViralTag become more transparent with this information so I can feel confident using the images there.
You don’t even know whether you can “enhance” an image until you select it as something you want to post. If you planned on adding text or enhancing the image and that feature is unavailable on that particular image, there is no “x” or button to close the window. So, as far as I know, the only option is to hit the back button, then search for images under “discover” again, instead of winding up back where you left off. Adding a way to close the window would be nice.
As far as the images available in “discover”, they are nice images, but on each search I keep seeing mostly the same images I saw on my last search. Maybe when you pay them the monthly fees, you get more images. But, it doesn’t say so on the site. So, I suppose I’m supposed to assume that. It says it processes thousands of feeds to bring those images in, but after 3 days of seeing the same images, I have to wonder why.
On a positive note, the tools are easy to use and the site is simple to navigate. There aren’t very many things you do there. Upload images, discover images, schedule pins, so not surprising it’s simple. Simple tools are good. It also includes some analytics, how many likes and repins, so that’s cool.
I’m not much of a supporter for using automated tools for social media. I know the argument people use to justify it. “My posts are automated, but I actively engage with my audience myself”. I get it. it’s just not my style.
A lot of people have gamed the system to raise their ‘social media influence”, but just like with SEO, it can catch up with you. Lots of people gamed Google for years and google found ways to slam the door on many of those tactics and a lot of businesses suffered penalties for gaming the system.
I think social media will catch up with people as well. I equate auto posting to social media with those who use bots to post spam to my blog. But keeping up with the tools people use is part of my job description.
At least now that I’ve seen the images in the “discover” part of Viraltag, I can see all the people I follow on Pinterest that are automating their posts because I recognize the pictures they share. That helps me save time by not engaging with automated posts.
People say they engage their audience, even though they auto-post, but do they understand that people recognize automated posts most of the time and unfollow, unfriend or simply don’t engage them?
Personally, I won’t be using ViralTag, not just because I don’t like automated social media, but because I don’t see the value. The number of images I found was limited, the lack of information about the legalities and the fact the tool doesn’t let me close the window and get back to where I left off are enough for me. They could at least have something next to each image thumbnail that tells you whether or not you’ll be able to enhance it once you open the unclosable window.
I don’t need their tool to add some text to an image I already own the rights to and that resides on my hard drive. I have photoshop for that. I can upload the image to my blog and pin it from there, so don’t need help there either. So the only thing Viraltag offers me is the ability to schedule my pins and that isn’t enough for me to pay them a monthly fee.
But, if you disagree, tell me why. Maybe I’m missing something.
(UPDATE TO MY REVIEW OF VIRALTAG)
Viral Tag responded to my email to their support about some of the issues like not being able to go back to where I left off in “Discover” and about the number of images available / seeing the same images a lot.
1. They increased the variety of pictures promptly due to feedback.
2. They told me that if you click anywhere outside of the popup with the image you selected, it will close the window and that in future updates, they may add a close window button on the popup to avoid confusion.
Not many companies respond to feedback that quickly and make changes to please their customers, especially picky customers like me.
They have convinced me they are a company worth dealing with. It doesn’t mean I am going to automate my own posts, but, if you want to schedule your Pinterest Posts, I highly recommend ViralTag.com