Site Sticks Pin in Interests
Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 10:05
Pinterest is set to be the next big thing in social media.
In this particular field, where behemoths such as Facebook and Twitter have reigned as kings, a new challenger to their stranglehold on the genre has emerged in the form of the social scrapbooking/virtual pinboard website, Pinterest.
Launched barely two years ago in March 2010, Pinterest has enjoyed a meteoric rise to fame in the past six months.
It currently has over 13 million users, which is the most impressive part, considering membership is invitation only.
Pinterest is the evolution of the now antediluvian photo website.
It is in effect, Photobucket on steroids, seamlessly merging the photography world with the social one. Like Twitter, it uses the “followers” dynamic to connect its vast database of users.
Thus far, the website has struck a chord with the female demographic. According to a study conducted by ignitesocialmedia.com, as of January 2012, 80 percent of the users were.
It has been dubbed the website “Facebook for Women.” In fact, the same study showed that Pinterest has garnered more traffic referrals in January than LinkedIn, Youtube and Google+ combined.
Anjelica Mantikas, a second semester freshman at Baruch College, fits right into this Pinterest target group. The 19-year-old Long island native had no qualms about the website.
“My cousin showed Pinterest because her college friends at NYU were using it.
She described it as a virtual corkboard that never runs out of room. I was excited to try it out,” she said.
Mantikas went on to compare her physical corkboard to her virtual one on Pinterest, citing its unlimited capacity as well as its replay value as its major selling points.
“The corkboard in my dorm room holds about 10 pictures. My boards on Pinterest are organized by categories and I know that I have an unlimited amount of space.”
By allowing users to create their own virtual “pinboards” the site has become the living breathing embodiment of the traditional lifestyle magazine, think Vogue or Elle, but with a social twist where users have full control over content instead of being hindered by a magazine’s size.
Despite its unprecedented growth, Pinterest is still subjected to all of the same issues that plagued many of its predecessors. How does a social site generate revenue?
Advertisers who were initially skeptical of allocating revenue to the site have begun linking products to the photos that people pin.
In this aspect, Pinterest may actually have an advantage over its predecessors. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, which dealt more with the human side of the online social experience, Pinterest is able to cut out the middleman harping directly on material products, making it a potential goldmine for advertisers.
Dave Morin, a former member of the highly touted Facebook team, gave his views on Pinterest recently.
“Now that the world understands how to be social through the Internet, people want unique experiences in different contexts,” said Morin.
While it took a while for most of the Internet to readily adopt an online social life, thanks to the revolutionary path paved by Facebook and to a lesser extent, Twitter, there could be a shift in how new sites approach the medium.