E-commerce giants Amazon and eBay have recently added Pinterest buttons to their product pages. In a nutshell this could very well be Pinterest’s future financial model revealed, a model that has the potential to earn the start-up social network some serious money.
By adding Pinterest buttons to product pages, Amazon and eBay now allow their customers to share what they bought with their Pinterest followers. If Pinterest can find some way to monetise such sharing (e.g. taking a 5% cut from the sales that any images from e-tailers create), then the fledgling social network with 30 million users could be a viable business.
Pinterest’s user base is dominated by women. Women shop online and many like the social aspect of sharing certain purchases with their friends. Any fashion, homeware or interior design merchant worth their salt should have a Pinterest share button on their e-commerce site – which could lead to another Pinterest potential money maker.
What if Pinterest starts to charge online retailers for use of the Pinterest share button? For example, every time someone shares something with their Pinterest community (something bought from an online retailer), the retailer pays Pinterest a nominal amount (say 50 cent). The retailer also pays Pinterest an annual user’s fee to house the Pinterest share bottom beside the items it sells.
Pinterest is a highly visual social network, driven by women and with the potential to make some real money. However, it will have to spell out its commercial business plan sooner rather than later, before too many people (especially big retailers and marketing agencies) think the service should remain free.