Like any breakthrough site on the Internet, Pinterest has the pundits clamoring to explain how this is either a fad or next big thing.
As usual, there is more fiction than fact.
Pinterest is doing well for sure. The company has funding, income and a lot of press about how well it’s doing. Most say that there is an unique appeal.
Question is how profitable would it be for you to use right now.
Fact: Users in the US are mostly female
Fiction: Female users are attracted to visual.
Pinterest is a sharing site. Seems to reason that women would be more apt to share this way. That’s one guy’s opinion from a lifetime of observing men and women and quite a bit of study in social psychology.
Speaking of studies, I’ve read many times how men are more visually stimulated than women. There is also research to suggest that men are naturally better an some number crunching code tasks(visualizing data), but more often the books I’ve encountered suggest that men see are visual simulated while women use feelings (like connection and sharing).
This is my opinion, not fact. But I did just see where in the UK, Pinterest is used by men.
Conclusion: We really don’t know
Pinterest is Growing Fast
The growth numbers shared in the past couple of months show amazing growth for Pinterest. At current rates of growth, they’ll have more users than there are people on the planet in no time.
Fact: Traffic has taken off in the past two months
Fiction: This growth is going because we love Pinterest
It sure looks like Pinterest has reached a tipping point. The site is 3 years old, and has changed over time, but now seems to be doing everything right.
Some would say this is a magic formula or breakthrough in technology. Frankly, I don’t see that. Facebook allows you to tag and share photos. There has been a fad there for the past few months of putting a quote on a postcard and getting it virally shared. As sharing gets easier, people want to share. This is a trend that will continue for some time.
From what I see, Pinterest does a better job of sharing technically, and benefits from the social graphs users have on Facebook. I’m wondering how much of the rapid growth is due to Facebook?
Pinterest looks to be a success, but it’s not going to crush everyone. Some pundits want to tout a new platform for social media. They seem to think there is certain path:
Friendster –> MySpace –> Facebook –> Whatever’s Next
They ignore how the platforms overlapped and start to wonder off when you ask how to add Twitter, YouTube or Linkedin. Let’s not forget there are more blogging sites creating social interaction than anything else, and email use still trumps them all.
There’s no reason that one has to fail to give us a new winner. The companies that have fallen from grace have had management and technical issues and I like to remember that MySpace is still a giant site when compared to most anything but MySpace.
So What is the Pinterest Secret?
The game is not over. All the facts are not in. but here’s what I think might be behind the rapid growth we’re seeing at Pinterest.
- Sharing is super easy. You can click a button and share. Once you click, you can easily pick an existing pinboard or add another. Compare this to the albums of photo sharing sites.
- Push to your network. The latest design of Facebook has been rolling out in the past few months and Pinterest is doing a great job of pushing it’s content to the new timelines.
- Easy to add your connections. Like most social networks, you can connect existing social graphs to Pinterest. Some aggressive young companies code their sites to make it easy to add everyone that is on, others make you invite each friend. Pinterest has the best one click add I’ve ever seen.
- Clandestine sign ups. Pinterest emails infer that a friend has found you, and asked you to join them. In reality, it’s well written script that sends out invites to your friends and assumes you’ll like it when they show up (which may be true).
For the most part, these aren’t unique to Pinterest. They are doing a good job of implementing tactics that work. Add a simple design and what appears to be good coding to make the site faster than others and you’ve got a winning recipe.
Can You Be More Like Pinterest in Your Business?
Perhaps the best idea I’ve got from watching Pinterest is how good business ideas, executed well with some creative flair will usually win.
I talk to businesses about little things they are getting wrong and am astounded by how often pivotal ideas are dismissed to focus on things that don’t work. Unfortunately, this is just as true for me on this very blog (and many other areas)
Before we jump onto a Pinterest push, I suggest we take a minute and look at our own businesses. What would it take to create an elegantly simple path for your customer to engage, buy and share your profitable products and services?
We may have our own tipping point moments sitting just a few steps away.