I am not active on Pinterest. I am not in their core demo. I have yet to cook, purchase or plan anything as a result of using the site. I believe in what they have built, expect its meteoric rise to continue and now use it as a marketing tool. Another point I think is important to make is I’m not a shiny new object guy. I test cool new platforms (I’m loving Path right now) and features, but ultimately, I invest very little time and resources to other middling social networks (ahem, Google+). So why do I believe there’s something to Pinterest?
1. Products and ideas needed a home.
"Liking" and/or sharing products on Facebook has always been a bit of a square peg in a round hole scenario. Most use Facebook to keep in touch with friends, view and create updates of life moments and clever quips. Tossing in the occasional "I like this product" has always felt misplaced. In fact, those who "like" brand x and share product y are seen as annoying feed spammers, turning off their friends. It has worked in the short term because nowhere else allowed us to organize and post products and things we like in a relevant environment. That’s until Pinterest came along. The entire site is predicated on organizing these objects and finding great ideas, products and offers that are all about consumption. The context is there, and people gravitate toward the opportunity to share and identify great things.
2. Organization simplified
I’ve heard it before. Evernote is far superior and does the same thing— beyond just links and pictures. And as an Evernote superfan, that’s exactly the problem. It’s too much for people to handle and manage. Pinterest’s visual ease is what makes the platform social and appealing.
When was the last time you heard someone (who was not a technophile) say “this is so much more addicting than Facebook!?” I’ve heard it from about six people thus far, and I include my wife in that camp. Am I addicted to it? No. Does that matter? Absolutely not. The proof is in the pudding.
4. Our addiction to chronology may be flawed.
Here’s why I’ve loved Pinterest as a marketing tool from the get-go. You post/share something on Twitter. Give it five minutes and it’s gone for good. Now move to Facebook and repeat. Sure, it will live on your profile (or Timeline)— but we all know the gold is in the newsfeed, which is fleeting. Pinterest has a feed of sorts, but the real discovery is based around how users organize and display their own boards. This provides far more evergreen content— complete with links that live beyond their 10 minutes of fame.
Time will tell, but I think there’s some substance to the rise of Pinterest.