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02/02/2012 by

The Next Social Wave Of 2012: Pinterest

Pinterest, a social visual network that was launched back in March 2010. While the site is still invite-only it’s been very popular among their 4 million users logging 421 million page views, according to The Next Web.

Of course Pinterest isn’t on par with smashing numbers like 800 million Facebook users or 465 million Twitter users. The invite-only system is keeping the Pinterest eco-system small for the time being, but is it ready to fully open their doors to the public in 2012?

Before we dive into the added value of Pinterest, let’s first take a look what it actually offers.

What is Pinterest?

A place where users can organize and share online photos. Think of it as the evolution of social bookmarking sites like Delicious. But it goes way beyond a bookmarking site, it’s the visual aspect that really makes the difference. Images can be uploaded or shared on Pinterest, this is called a ‘Pin’. These pins can be categorized by user defined categories, also known as ‘Boards’.

Another added layer is the ability to comment, like and share photos. Users can follow each other like Twitter, no need to give permission as it’s an open network. Pins can also be shared on Facebook and Twitter.

How is it currently used?

It depends on the user but it’s safe to say there’s a big difference between brand and personal users. For personal experience Pinterest seems widely popular for designers, architects and travellers. Think of a showcase of your own work or those beautiful places you always wanted to visit.

For brands it can be a very natural environment to be in. Take Etsy for example, an e-commerce website focused on handmade or vintage items as well as art and craft supplies. Etsy brought their catalogue to the Pinterest audience, and why wouldn’t they since the Pinterest audience is 70% female. Sounds like a perfect match to me.

Why brands should stay on top of Pinterest

No doubt about it that Pinterest wouldn’t match every brand. As a matter of fact it seems that mostly small retail businesses are using Pinterest to inspire, showcase and sell their products.

However, think about this for a minute. There’s a huge potential if Pinterest steps off from their invite-only registration model, gaining millions of new users. This means people will start ‘pinning’ what they love, and most certainly branded products will be in there as well.

Think of Fashionistas, showcasing all their Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada bags. You name it, they will Pin it. Fashion brands can really start adding value in this space by showing more than just pictures of products. Show how different bags can fit each specific occasion.

In other words, lots of new opportunities for brands to reach and engage their consumers.

How do you think Pinterest can add value for brands? Let us know in the comments below.


Source: The Next Web



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Chi Chung Man
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Comments (7)

  • Igor Beuker 03/02/2012, 11:34

    Many would ask: How would I need so see this? Compare it to Facebook or Flickr?

    Is it the slideshare for consumers?Instagram alike?

    Is it a social network? Story G+ still seems to struggle with: its positioning… What am I?


  • Well I believe Pinterest is unique enough on its own to stand out from the crowd. Of course there is a certain correlation between sharing content compared to Twitter.

    The great thing is that it’s a visual open network. If I need to check for great sneakers I’ll make my own board that will show me incredible new sneakers from around the globe.

    Brands need to think very well how they would make their offerings relevant. Take phone brands for example – proper accessories is always important for users. What if you show on Pinterest what kind of sound dockings systems are compatible and how much it costs? Or show products/ideas that would enhance the user experience in a way consumers never thought of.

    I understand that a channel like Google+ is having trouble to add value for the consumer. It’s offering is very much like Facebook and it’s a social network, so users need to find their friends all over again.

    The best thing about Pinterest is that Pins can be easily shared on Facebook and Twitter. So it would be an integrated sharing system.

    But let’s wait and see when Pinterest will fully open to the public without the invite registration system. Then the real party can begin.

  • mike@Social Media Management 05/02/2012, 00:13

    As a marketer and owner of an advertising agency I couldn’t agree more that Pinterest is the darling on 2012.. It’s going to be interesting to see how some business categories are going to explore the possibilities and you did a great job of laying out a few of them… Fun times that we’re experiencing in the ever changing marketing world today…

  • Paul van Veenendaal 05/02/2012, 10:01

    Great article Chi! Keep up the excellent work!
    Also watch out for Hipster in 2012, a genius way of turning your photo’s into postcards, making use of location-based information! See for example this photo of mine turned into a postcard

    “The Next Social Wave Of 2012” great name for a monthly column giving an introduction (like above) to a new social initiative. And at end the of the year let ViralBlog users vote for their favorite of 2012.

  • @Mike Thanks, glad you liked it! Really curious to see how Pinterest will be used by brands.

    @Paul Didn’t know Hipster yet but definitely looks cool. Do they also offer a service for printing a physical copy?

    Sounds like a great idea to have a monthly column for new social initiatives. I’ll throw it into the team. Thanks! :)

  • Rick Dauvillier 06/02/2012, 15:35

    Nice article Chi, clear overview of the purpose and benefits.

    This platform gives you another opportunity to easily share, gather and collect your content online (in this case photo’s). That’s why I believe everyone is becoming a journalist in some way. We’re all keeping track of our lives online, as we write, like and share. Before our footprints where scattered all over the web. But with platforms like these this is becoming more structured. Which brings a whole new dimension to the marketing world. Brands can now efficiently tap into our lives and become relevant to us.

    It’s cool to see the web maturing, I’m sure that we will see a lot of these platforms in the near future.



  • Steve Bonesz 19/04/2012, 16:20

    We all know how popular Twitter is, and if a picture is worth a thousand words, and Twitter allows about 23 words per post, then a pinterest upload is about 43 times more powerful than a single tweet.
    Math aside, I think most folks love the simplicity of Pinterest. I always hear non social media people complain that they don’t use it, because they don’t know what to say. Pinterest allows you to say it with a pic!
    You might like this Pinterest spoof my friends and I made.