What is Pinterest?
Pinterest is an image tagging ("pinning") social network allowing users to collect online visual content they find interesting or attractive and arrange it in a virtual scrapbook, which they can share with their peers. Instead of following people like on Facebook or Twitter, you can instead follow interesting boards and share your favorite pins. Here the visual content and value to your personal interests is high, rather than the value of the individual Pinterest user. In this sense Pinterest is more open than other social networks, and less of a privacy concern.
Pinterest, also called "the darling digital pin board that's turned the social media upside down" in a fresh article by Zoe Fox in Mashable, is the fastest growing social media site right now. It was the fastest standalone site in history to pass the 10 million users mark in January. The growth rate has been amazing, as Pinterest can now boast a user base that has grown by 4,000% in the past six months. A majority of the users are still from the U.S., but Europe and the U.K. are catching up fast. The site is characterized by its visual look, ease of use and the attraction of sharing or "pinning" items of interest on boards that you can create according to your likes and interest. The site appeals especially to women, as almost 87% of U.S. users were female according to data collected mid-February. Pinterest user ages are evenly spread between 25 and 54, with only 3% of users being 65+. The infograph below illustrates the different user profiles in the U.S. and the U.K. It should be noted that the U.K. users are much wealthier and predominantly male, when compared with U.S. users. It will be interesting to look at similar data for Finland and Scandinavia in due course.
Pinterest is a Top Traffic Driver
What's so interesting to Brands and Marketers is the way Pinterest lowers the threshold to purchase items pinned and repinned on the boards. It's the perfect site to upload an image of a new product, or one in development, and see how people react to it. Pinterest drives a lot of traffic to media, and especially Women's Magazines. For instance the U.S. magazines House Beautiful and Elle Decor have seen their traffic boosted by Pinterest and for Country Living Pinterest is already the fourth largest source of traffic.
For those Marketer's interested to set up a plan for Pinterest I recommend the article "8 Strategies for launching a Brand presence in Pinterest".
If one takes a look at the business model, Pinterest is profiting off your "pinspired" purchases as the site is using an affiliate linking program to track and get a piece of your e-shopping. Have a closer look at this in an article published by Digital Trends. The Business Model requires more research than this. The big question for its financial success is whether Pinterest is just a fad - or is it here to stay? And will it beat other social media networks for users' precious time? Right now statistics suggest that Pinterest users are spending more time on Pinterest than most other social media networks and it's only second to Facebook ranked by average minutes per visitor (Source: comScore).