Every time I look at my Tweetdeck there’s a Pinterest mention or a Pinterest link (notice how many people are un-shortening Pinterest links they want to share on Twitter, just to show you they’ve a Pinterest account?); every day another tech media article; every week a new Pinterest infographic (see foot of this post).
So, should we really be interested in Pinterest? In a word: absolutely.
I’d go as far to say that Pinterest will be bigger – in terms of total users, not necessarily by influence – than Twitter (which now has in excess of 100 million users ).
1. History. Take the growth of Pinterest. This chart, below, from TechCrunch shows the exponential growth in the last year – and remember, Pinterest sign-up is still by invitation only.
2. Opinion-Free. You don’t need an opinion to Pin. I know many intelligent people who feel like they don’t have enough thoughts and opinions to join Twitter. Or don’t know what to say when they do sign up. Or actually ‘get’ Twitter.
3. Easy-peasy. Pinning is, in effect, collecting images (and videos) that we love – that’s very easy to do. And a very easy concept to grasp.
4. Intuitive. Once you get your Pinterest invite (and it will surely be a matter of months before it’s open to everyone) it’s easy to set up and use.
5. Demographics. Look at the demographics of Pinterest users – these are not tech-savvy ‘early adopters’; they are just ordinary people. There are far more ordinary people in this world than the geekier crowd.
6. Lists. Who doesn’t love a list? Pinterest is just one user’s bunch of curated lists
7. Commerce. I love the fact you can add a price of an item to a pin (type the £ symbol followed by the amount in the description) which is surely a clue to forthcoming commercial opportunities.
8. Referrals. There’s been a few articles already showing how Pinterest is referring more traffic than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined (combined). I’ve just looked at Pinterest referral traffic for Umpf.co.uk and it’s now the 9th most popular referring site for us.
9. SEO. We all know where search is heading in terms of the influence of social cues. There’s no evidence that I’ve seen yet that Pinterest links are showing up in Google SERPs (certainly not in any way significant) but my guess is that this will come. And it’s not for no reason that there’s this button (shown right, highlighted in green) when you create your Pinterest account. Clever PR, that.
10. Improvements. And the final reason is that Pinterest is going to get better. Remember, Pinterest is less than 2 years old; it’s experienced massive growth so it’s done well to retain its stability. Next stage: improvements…
What does Pinterest need to do to improve?
1. Removing the invite-only sign-up, obvs.
2. The search function is largely hit and miss
3. The mobile experience is terrible. Take the official Pinterest iPhone app it doesn’t allow you to pin anything from it. No, really, it doesn’t. That’s like having a Twitter app that doesn’t allow you to Tweet. I use Voyager Technology’s Pin to Pinterest app which at 69p works ok, but really Pinterest should be all over this themselves.
4. Private or invite-only boards – boards you can share with just invited members, or ones you could pin stuff just for yourself ie creating an Evernote-like function
5. Being able to invite friends from Twitter, LinkedIn, et al, rather than just Facebook friends
6. Personalisation of a user’s board ie changing the background design/wallpaper
7. Maybe some sort of leaderboard/tables for most re-pins/likes etc
8. The ability to embed a Pinterest board into a website or blog post. Whilst this is not currently available, apparently it’s on its way.
Umpf is on Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/umpf
A couple of recent infographics about Pinterest, on Pinterest: