Blog written by Adam Britten, follow him on Twitter @AdamBritten or visi AdamBritten.com
Have you heard of Pinterest yet? It is without a doubt the “hot website” of the moment. TechCrunch recently reported that the site’s traffic has grown 2000% percent since June, and now receives more page views than Etsy. The site is in Beta, and only allowing new users in through invite, but you can request an invite from their homepage or from a friend with an account.
What exactly is Pinterest?
Pinterest is a virtual pin board of your interests. When you are on a website and see a picture you like, you “pin” it to one of your boards. These boards are organized into categories of your choice, like fashion, food, art, etc. Users can follow each other, as well. One great element of Pinterest is that you can follow one board from a user, or all of their boards. You control what you see on the site. Simply put, Pinterest is a lot of pretty pictures organized neatly.
Anyone can have fun on Pinterest, but the visual nature of the site lends itself well to people in particular fields. Those trying to find a job as a graphic designer can display their work for others to find. A student applying to a school’s fashion program can upload their sketches or designs to Pinterest and then send it as a supplement to their portfolio.
Brands on Pinterest
Any site with a growing number of users will attract attention from brands, and Pinterest is no exception. Companies are flocking to the hot site in an effort to get their products pinned. Again, the visual nature of the site is making it easier for some brands over others. One great example of a corporate page is from luxury retailer Bergdorf Goodman. They have boards organized by trend, like florals or lace. They have a board for designer Tom Ford, showing that they might expand into more designer-specific boards. They even have boards dedicated to individual colors, if you happen to look better in red.
Brands outside the fashion and design industries are also utilizing Pinterest, but they are doing more than pushing products. Klout, the social influence analytics company, uses their boards to give a behind-the-scenes look into their office. You can see what costumes their employees wore to the office Halloween party, or see a picture of the company’s two founders facing off against each other in a ping-pong match. (It appears as if Klout even works once in a while, as some of their photos show their engineers concentrated on a laptop screen.)
The future of Pinterest
Sure, Pinterest is growing now. It’s attracting a lot of attention and generating a lot of buzz. But as with other sites, excitement will level-off at some point. What can Pinterest do to maintain growth? One thought I have is that they should integrate with more visual networks. Currently, they only allow you to share your pins with Twitter or Facebook. If they partnered with Tumblr or Instagram, they would probably get more appropriate, involved users.
What are your thoughts on Pinterest? What can they do to grow?