February 27th, 2012

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What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a free online scrapbook to organize, find and share things that you love on the Web. Why the hype? It is unique. It is inspirational. It is creative. It is beautiful. It is engaging. It is fun. It’s addictive. Pinterest is also user-friendly – the ease of use makes it easy to navigate around the site. You don’t need to be techy to use it love it. There is no real need to type, click, or read (most of the content on Pinterest are images or photos). Photo sharing has proven to be a popular form of expression on social media websites. Popular board subjects range from inspirational quotes, pets, fashion, travel, recipes, do-it-yourself/craft projects, fitness/diet and architecture/home décor. So, Pinterest can be the perfect place for collecting and sharing images and products online. It is also great for helping to spark ideas and for networking with others who share similar passions to yours. It is less intimate than Facebook, for example, in which you share details on your life; i.e., status, pictures, wall posts, etc. With Pinterest’s digital scrapbooking, you share your interests and passions.

Pinterest’s traffic grew to 11.7 million unique visitors in January, more than double the 4.9 million who visited the site in November, according to comScore. “I haven’t seen another stand-alone site that has reached 10 million visitors faster,” said comScore analyst Andrew Lipsman. In January, the number of visitors on Pinterest.com was almost a third of that on Twitter.com. Pinterest is currently valued at around $200 million.

So why are businesses all of a sudden jumping on the Pinterest bandwagon? E-commerce retailers are seeing an opportunity for “social shopping” to capture users by adding the Pin-It button to their websites. Pinterest can help bring in more visitors to a business’ website. Many e-commerce businesses have reported on a surge of new visitors to their websites coming directly from Pinterest. It is a chance for these retailers to market themselves to users who are pinning products that are similar or related to products they offer. There is no denying the fact that the growing popularity of Pinterest is helping to boost sales on these retail websites.

The Pinterest target demographic is about 70% women, ages 25-34, annual income of 25k-75k per year, living in the mid-west. Many (about 60%) have completed some college courses, however a comparatively smaller 25% of pinners have completed a bachelor’s degree or higher. According to comScore, the average Pinterest user spend 98 minutes per month on the site, compared to 2.5 hours on Tumblr, and 7 hours on Facebook.

Other websites that have recently emerged since the Pinterest movement are Dartitup.com, whose message is “Share & Save Cool Sh*T!” and Inquber.com, whose message is to “Explore, Share, Organize” These two online social sharing websites are positioning themselves to be more male-focused (gadget, tech and entertainment oriented), to stand out from Pinterest’s women-dominated audience.
For now, users must request a invited to join the Pinterest network, which gives it a sense of exclusivity. But it won’t be long before “Follow us on Pinterest” becomes as common as “Like us on Facebook” or “Follow us on Twitter”.

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