What just happened? Pinterest cares about your mental health. The social network has announced that users searching for terms that could indicate they’re feeling down will be offered some “emotional well-being activities” in the hope of improving their mood.
The company explains that when searching for things like “stress quotes” and “work anxiety,” users will be prompted to take part in wellness exercises created alongside Brainstorm, the Stanford Lab for Mental Health Innovation, and with advice from Vibrant Emotional Health and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
One of the exercises, aptly called “Deep Breathing,” involves holding your breath for three seconds then exhaling for six seconds, which can help reduce stress levels. Another recommends practicing gratitude.
As before, the more extreme cases, such as searches for self-harm, bulimia, and suicide-related topics, will continue to see Pinterest surface messages urging people to seek help and guiding them to the National Suicide Prevention hotline.
Pinterest has emphasized that people who try these activities won’t have them linked to their accounts, and it doesn’t track those who use them. TechCrunch writes that the activity is stored anonymously using a third-party service, which Pinterest said was a “reputable leader in third-party analytics.”
“Over the years we’ve worked with experts to make it easy for people in distress to access supportive resources. Together we wanted to create a more compassionate, actionable experience that tries to address a broader emotional spectrum of what Pinners may be looking for,” wrote product manager Annie Ta, who also added that "the experience is not meant to replace professional care."
The feature arrives a few months after Pinterest stopped surfacing results when users search for controversial topics such as anti-vaccination.