Pinterest 101.1: Is Pinterest the Future?
PART 1: Pin + Interest = Pinterest?
Here’s part 1 of our Pinterest 101. In this article, we’ll explore what Pinterest is and why we’re excited about this new platform! Will it affect advertising, marketing and business?
Pinterest is gaining popularity, but is it the future of social networking? The main allure of Pinterest rests on two of its key features: beautiful pictures combined with dead-simple sharing.
In his blog, Elad Gill, founder of Mixer Lab, stated that in the social media sphere, there’s a shift from extensive production and consumption of content to simple ‘click-and-share’ methods for users to participate in a conversation. A good example is the transition from full-fledged blogging via services such as Blogger to micro-blogging using Tumblr. Some marketers and futurists dubb this trend “Social Curation.” It’s seen as the next wave of social media.
So what can you do with Pinterest?
Pin the Perfect Picture
Pinterest allows you to organise and share online images that you find interesting or inspiring. Images can be uploaded and shared via your smartphone, PC or Mac. These images become known as Pins. These Pins are then arranged on customised, themed Boards.
Pinterest’s collage-like look and feel serves as a valuable tool when searching for information. For example, when we search for the word “Greece”, more than 500 beautiful boards come up!
Now browse through all these boards and enjoy your virtual visit to Greece! Remember to pin the places that you’d like to visit in real life on your own Greece Holiday board. ;)
In application, art directors can use it to organise visual references, brides can use it to look for wedding inspiration; gym junkies can pin their next great workout, the possibilities are just endless. Boards can have multiple contributors, so collaborating with co-workers on a project is easy because everyone’s ideas and inspiration are collated in a single place.
How-to: Playing With Pins and Boards
Pinning is easy. Websites can add the official Pin It button to their sites and users can also install a simple drag-and-drop browser extension to make it even easier! When you come across an image you like, just click the Pin It button and select the corresponding image.
Assign the pin to a Board, add accompanying text, and you’re done. If you find inspiration on-the-go, take a picture with your iPhone and add it to your Boards with the mobile app. You can also Repin posts from other people.
Tweet or share Pins on Facebook and let the world see your interest and ideas. Is that big anniversary coming soon? Look through the Pinterest boards of your partner and get them what they want.
The Future: Pinterest Gaining Traction in Asia
Facebook only took off in Asia years after it became popular in English-speaking countries. Benchmarking against other social media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest might still then be in its social media infancy. However, it’s definitely gaining traction in Asia. According to Hitwise statistics, Pinterest is the fastest growing site under the social networking and forums category.
With its beautiful interface and social networking ease, why isn’t this two-year old startup taking off in Asia as fast as it did in America and Europe? As with most social media trends, Pinterest is currently more popular with English-speaking early-adopter countries like North America, New Zealand, Australia, and Singapore.
That’s not to say it doesn’t have its own clones. According to Adaline Lau, an editor at ClickZ,
“In January, large China-based social network Renren rolled out its own Pinterest-like service, Renren Guangjie (loosely translated as “everyone shops”). Although there are many Pinterest clones in China, Renren Guangjie is worth highlighting because it is part of a social network that boasts a total of 31 million active monthly users in the country.”
(Original image here)
Renren Guangjie and Pinterest shares a similar approach and layout, with a minor difference: images featured on Renren Guangjie are mostly linked to Taobao (an online shopping portal). Another clone, Huaban, adopted the original idea behind an interest-sharing service, encouraging users to post a broader set of images ranging from tourist spots to cute animals (which are not money-making).
Clones aside, users are moving towards a more visual kind of social, and we see platforms being created to support this social curation of sorts. Does it have marketing potential? We see Pinterest as an easy, low-barrier-to-entry means of trial. Come back soon and find out more in Pinterest 101.2! ;)