Pinterest: A social media driven by virtual window shopping

February-17-12

I try to keep up with the social media trends when they appear. While it is true that I am not on every social media site known to man, I am a member of the more popular ones like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. I even hopped on the Google+ train when it rolled around this past summer. So, I thought I was pretty up to date with what was considered to be “big” in the social media world...until I discovered that Pinterest, a website that was nearly insignificant a couple of months ago is growing in popularity...fast.

“But why is that? What makes a bunch of virtual pin boards so interesting? “, is what I asked myself, therefore, I went out on my journey to discover why everybody seems to be buzzing about Pinterest.

What you need to know about Pinterest:
Pinterest is big, really big. In the short time since its launch (which amounts to about 6 months ago) it has succeeded in driving more traffic than Google+, Youtube and LinkedIn combined, that’s impressive. Even more impressive because Pinterest is still “invite only”. If you want to become a part of the community, you have to request an invite when you arrive on the main page; it’s not as instant as signing up for another social media site like Twitter or Facebook. A lot of social media gurus are keeping their eyes on this site, some are even dubbing it one of the “biggest web properties of 2012”, whether that is true or not remains to be seen.

People love Pinterest because it’s easy:
Besides getting an invite to join the community, the only real technical part of becoming a member of Pinterest is installing the Pin It button on your browser. Once that is done, all that is left for you to do when you surf the Web is to click on the Pin It button which will automatically make all the images of a Web page available to you. Then, you click on the image you want to share; select on which board you will pin and add a caption. It’s visual, vivid and instant. All of your interest can be organized in neat little categories; so it will be easy for people who visit your page to discover that you like puppies, home decoration and electric guitars.

Pinterest, a website driven by women:
When researching what makes Pinterest so interesting, I read an article written by Brad McCarty and I found his take on the growing popularity of the website very interesting. According to Pinterest, 80% of their users are women. Why is that? Think about it, what could you compare Pinterest to in real life? According to Brad McCarty, you could compare it to window shopping. Women are often the main shoppers of a household and they love to show off different purchases or things they want to buy and with this website, all they have to do is pin an image to a board in order to start discussion about it. McCarty said it better himself: “It’s a social experience, disguised as a website full of interests”.

I have to admit, by the time I was finished writing this article, I asked to be invited to Pinterest. I am a woman and there are many different things I would like to share with others on this website. We will just have to wait and see how companies use Pinterest to their advantage, because this site is full of potential begging to be exploited.


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