Pinterest congratulates single people on their nonexistent upcoming weddings

September 5, 2014

Say you’re going about your day, single lady. Or say you’re going about your day and you’re maybe in a serious relationship, or just casually dating a guy, or something in between. And you get an e-mail that has the potential to change your life forever.

An e-mail like … this:


(Courtesy of Abby Phillip, who is not engaged)

Wait, I’m getting married? What? Have I been in a coma for the past five years? Pinterest, do you have access to a crystal ball or some sort of time-travel technology? And if so — not to sound judgmental — using it for planning nonexistent upcoming weddings seems like a major waste of future-seeing resources.

As it turns out, the company made a mistake in e-mailing thousands of users this week to congratulate them on nuptials they weren’t actually planning. The error, a company spokesperson said, was not a technological fluke that misidentified users as engaged. But rather it was the way the e-mail was written. (Which is to say: Poorly.)

“Every week, we email collections of category-specific pins and boards to pinners we hope will be interested in them,” Pinterest’s head of communications Barry Schnitt said in a statement. “Unfortunately, one of these recent emails suggested that pinners were actually getting married, rather than just potentially interested in wedding-related content. We’re sorry we came off like an overbearing mother who’s always asking when you’ll settle down with a nice boy or girl.”

The message even went out to users who didn’t have wedding-specific boards.

Or maybe, just maybe, Pinterest’s algorithm is just that good:

Elahe Izadi is a general assignment national reporter for The Washington Post.
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