Pinterest – the sleeping social giant to watch

By: February 3, 2012
pinterest-cover-story

If you haven’t tried using Pinterest, you should. Why? Because it’s quietly becoming a dominant social force on the web and it’s where all the cool people are hanging out. Forget Facebook, Pinterest is a visual social network where people can show off their good taste, not their bad behaviour.

How does it work?
Pinterest is easy and fun. Users simple ‘pin’ content from different sites on the Web to a virtual cork board. There are numerous categories on the cork board such as photography, food, fitness, clothing and home. Users create their own boards and ‘pin’ stuff they find interesting and their followers can see what they pin. Users and followers share information with each other in a visual and interesting way and users can ‘re-pin’ stuff they find interesting.
According to the Ignite Social Media blog, Pinterest’s audience is mainly female – between the ages of 25 to 54. ComScore says the social network has over four million users and the Google Ad Planner shows nearly 1.5 million unique users are visiting Pinterest daily, and spending 14+ minutes on the site. Compare this with the average Facebook user who spends 23 minutes on the site each day.

Getting smarter
What’s interesting about Pinterest is its philosophy – it’s a discover & share social network and poses no real threat to individual privacy. The most ‘damaging’ thing it can do is show other people you have poor taste.
Brands are also paying attention to it. For example, online shopping site Etsy is using it to great effect. It has over 45,000 followers on its Pinterest brand page and every time it pins a new item to its page it essentially advertises that product to its followers.
Brands also don’t have to rely on complex data processing to target specific groups of people because if people are interested in a brand’s products, they’ll simply follow it.
As the first generation of Facebookers mature and it slowly dawns on them that sharing one’s life with hundreds of virtual contacts probably isn’t the smartest thing to do, they will look around for alternative ways of expressing themselves. As people get older they become more private but they remain interested in what other people are doing. Pinterest is a social network for people who are interested in what other people find interesting. That’s what makes it a sleeping giant.