Sunday, 12 February 2012

Some reasons why everyone is talking about Pinterest.

Pinterest is the hottest website around at the moment. The company launched back in March of 2010 and quietly gathered traction until the last quarter of 2011 where it has attracted the masses and grabbed global attention. Time listed it as one of its top 5 social media websites of 2011.

Described by some as a social network or a social commerce site and by others as a social bookmarking site, i suppose it is all of those and more, but the company describes itself as a "virtual pinboard" that lets you organise and share all the beautiful things you find on the web (or in the real world). Users can browse and create online bulletin boards for categories such as Art, Diy and Crafts, Food and Drink, Travel and Places amongst others. User demographics are 80% women versus 20% men, aged between 25-44 (55% of group, 30% are aged 25-34 and 25% are aged 35-44 ). Most popular amongst its user base are recipes, wedding items and other topics like humor and photography. Although more recently due to the sites global attention, more men and brands are signing up for the service, so the current demographics will change dramatically in the coming months.

(Credit Pinterest)

Facebook have recently added the Pinterest app to it's functions (along with 59 other new apps) and is certainly a contributing factor to its phenomenal success. Thus enabling Facebook's 845 million users to share content like their favourite food, recipes, clothing, music and much more to their Facebook page. Currently there are about 2.7 million who are logging in to Pinterest via Facebook.

Lets take a look at some more information and stats doing the rounds on the internet. Shareaholic a leader in the content sharing field reports that Pinterest is referring more traffic than some of the big boys, Google+, Linkedin and YouTube but to name a few.
(Credit Shareaholic)

Pinterest's user base grew from 1.2 million in August 2011 to over 4 million in  December 2011. Comscore reports that the site is the fastest independent growing site EVER, with 11.7 million unique visitors in January 2012 making it one of the top 10 social networking and forums websites.

This infographic below from Monetate shows how Pinterest has become a big player in the social commerce referral world. It raised $37 million in funding last year and has an unconfirmed valuation of around $200 million, so it is a site to take notice of. All of this and almost 2 years after it's launch you can still only sign up by invite only!

(Credit Monetate)

Undeniably the figures speak for themselves, Pinterest is on fire at the moment but can it keep it up? Well i think the answer is yes, Pinterest will soon be releasing the API for developers to build on top of it and venture capitalists are eager to invest in new start-ups looking to monetise off the back of it. Retailers are starting to flock to Pinterest as brands are able to set prices for products they have on their pinboards (much like a product catalogue), which in turn is driving a lot of traffic back to the retailers site.
Although it means that Pinterest is not fully capitalising on that, however they are generating some revenue by adjusting and tracking links attached to user generated pins. It uses a service called Skimlinks to add affiliate marketing links to products. Skimlinks has a network of affiliated retailers, so when a link is clicked and directs the user to the retailers site and the user make a purchase, the retailer will pay a share of the revenue to the affiliated network, who then pays the publisher. It is a very common and widely used tactic for publishers of sites looking to monetise their content, much the same as banner ads and texting programs.

Some brands are seeing huge traffic driven to their sites from Pinterest, such as American company which has seen a rise of 446% in traffic over the last 6 months.

Want to jump on the bandwagon? Create your own pinboards and start pinning your favourite items.

How do i get started on Pinterest? i hear you say!

You don't need an account to view peoples boards, but you do need to sign up for an account to become a member to pin and create your own boards. So to sign up head off over to and "request an invite" by filling out the request form (for instant access you can login through Facebook or Twitter).

If you have requested an invite, you will soon receive an email inviting you to sign up for an account, click on the link in your email and sign up by creating your profile. The main features on Pinterest are:

(Image Credit: Kerry Jones on
A Pin is an image that can be added to Pinterest from another website using the "Pin It"  button, or you can upload an image from your computer (or mobile phone if you have the Pinterest App installed).

(Credit Kerry Jones on
A Board is a set of Pins and a Board can be created on any topic, such as weddings and events, cool people, or beautiful images captured in photography. There is no set limit to the amount of pins in a board.


(Image Credit: Kerry Jones on 

(Image Credit: Kerry Jones on 

To Repin is to find an image on Pinterest that you like and repin it to one of your boards and add your own description to it. When you repin someone else's image the original pinner will also get credit, as repins always maintain the original source link.

If you Like a Pin it doesn't save to any of your Boards but just adds the pin to your profile's Like section.

To Follow means that you can either:

1. Follow the user of a Pin
2. Follow the Board of that Pin or
3. If it is a Repin you can Follow the original pinner.

If you sign up using Facebook or Twitter to login then you will see which of your friends are already using Pinterest.

When you want to Share a Pin click on the image and it will open up a larger box and to the right of the image is where you can share via:

  1. The Facebook "Like" button
  2. The Twitter "Tweet" button
  3. Embed the link on your website or blog
  4. The email button

(Image Credit: Kerry Jones on 

You can Comment on any Pin by either hovering over the Pin and clicking the Comment button in the top right corner of the Pin box or by clicking on the Pin and commenting on the large pop up box.

Now you've learnt the basics head over to Pinterest and learn more...

Once you've joined and created your profile, let me know what interesting stuff you find on  there? Tell me what you think of it or leave me a link to your Pinterest profile in the comments below.

I'm just getting started over there myself, you can find me at

Happy pinning everybody :)