Think social media and people mostly immediately chirp with “Twitter! Facebook! Tumblr! … Google+..?” (faltering). But there’s a new kid on the block that’s rising up the popularity ranks – Pinterest. It’s skyrocketed into the top ten most visited social networks of 2011 and is continuing to gain traction every day. And why? It’s a shrine to consumerism.
Pinterest is an visual platform with a simple concept – users create and name Boards with whatever they wish (Places I want to visit, Inspirational, Nice cars, etc.) and post relevant photos (or videos) as ‘Pins’ on corresponding Boards, which can all be categorised under one of the 32 general Pinterest categories (such as Geek, Hair & Beauty, Products, Technology etc.). Users can follow each other based on interests, and photos are displayed in a pin board-type feed – a little like Tumblr but it’s shared among the whole community. And a great thing is that it integrates with browsers so users can directly convert web page content into a ‘Pin’ to show on Pinterest. And of course, it can sync with Facebook and Twitter.
The hedonistic and aesthetic focus of the network (at least at the moment) makes it a great place for fashion, lifestyle and food brands to hop onto. It’s already reached an established and highly engaged female audience, and is continuing to grow the male audience.
Some types of Boards that people are making on Pinterest:
Here’s an example of a brand’s Pinterest boards:
This network could be used for introducing new products before launch and collecting feedback and comments from this engaged community, in order to build hype and improve the offering. Brands can also run photo contests and collate submissions into their own Board.
It’s too bad that Pinterest is currently only invite only, although you can request one. I’m still waiting on mine but I’m excited to see how this could be wielded by social brands.