Maybe the question should be, is Pinterest the next best thing since Facebook? After Microsoft and web browsers made the technology scene, everyone was wondering what the next big thing would be … and along came Facebook. Now we’re wondering what’s after Facebook. Could it be Pinterest?
Pinterest quietly launched as a closed beta (meaning it isn’t open to everyone) back in March 2010 and since then has grown into the 3rd largest social networking site. On August 16, 2011, Time magazine listed Pinterest in its “50 Best Websites of 2011” article. Not bad for a 2-year old company.
So what exactly is Pinterest? According to its website, Pinterest is a “virtual pinboard that lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web.” To use Pinterest, you download a pin application that allows you to “pin” photos from a website onto a pinboard on your Pinterest account (think virtual bulletin board). The photo is linked back to the website from where it was pinned … so anyone clicking on a photo pinned to one of your pinboards will be taken to that website.
Interesting enough, but how is this good for business? Let’s say I’m renovating my kitchen. Normally I would look at decorating magazines or websites for ideas and bookmark or “favorite” a site that had appealing kitchen features. I would then have to go back to those individual bookmarks or magazine pages to pull all my ideas together.
With Pinterest, I can instead pin photos from those sites onto a “Kitchen Renovation” board that I’ve created in my Pinterest account. I now have all my kitchen ideas in one handy place and can click on any photo on my board to go to the webpage where it was found. This makes it much easier for me to remember that the French kitchen cabinets I’m craving are at Lowe’s, and thereby makes it easier for me to purchase them.
You can start to see the benefits of Pinterest, in addition to the magnitude of its reach. Although Pinterest is still operating under an “invitation-only” system, anyone can join (at least, I’ve not heard of anyone being rejected). You simply log onto www.pinterest.com and request to join. You’ll receive an email congratulating you on your acceptance into Pinterest. Doesn’t that make you feel special? As a marketer, I wonder if this is part of Pinterest’s appeal. Generally humans want what they can’t have.
As of February 2012, Pinterest had broken into the top 30 websites for page views in the United States. My prediction is that it will soon elbow its way into the number 2 slot for social networking sites. If you haven’t visited Pinterest yet, log onto http://pinterest.com/about/ to learn more about this escalating sensation. And stay tuned for future posts as we cover more on the benefits of using Pinterest for business.
Check out Aquascape’s Pinterest boards at http://pinterest.com/aquascapeinc.