A new social networking site has appeared, Pinterest. What is the purpose of this network? How does it fit into the social networking landscape? I’ve registered to find out.
Essentially Pinterest is a bookmarking website for images. Users are able to create virtual boards and then pin images to them. Each board is named (perhaps humour, books worth reading, best dresses, etc) and users are able to pin images to each of their boards. Images can be sourced from webpages or uploaded from devices.
Pinterest has been operating on an “invite only” basis for the last 2 years. It is usual for social networking sites to target tech journalists and bloggers for coverage when they are made public. However Pinterest opted for the traditional tactic of building their user base before attempting coverage. Due to this Pinterest quietly grew in the background, hidden from mainstream eyes, until December 2011. Currently the website approximately receives 11 million hits per week – no doubt this figure will be sharply increasing.
To sign up you need to request an invitation. From conversations from others it seems this process can take up to a week (mine took 5 days). Due to its recent popularity increase expect a waiting list whilst Pinterest organise for their servers to cope with the amount of traffic.
Last night I spent some time experimenting with Pinterest and as you can see from my Pinterest profile, I have created boards relevant to me. This includes the prestigious “Wall of Ale” board which features different ales as I consume them. There is no doubt about it; Pinterest appears at first glance to be a colossal waste of time.
Pinterest as the new Tumblr?
Popular blogging service, Tumblr, is known for its prolific “re-blogging”. Users frequently share images presenting wise words, photography and humour. Therefore Pinterest is taking an existing social networking behaviour but providing a specialised system. In this respect Pinterest is a better version of Tumblr. It is for sharing images with little words. Tumblr may begin to see a decline in its users.
Images are faster than words
As a writer the speed of the internet often offends me. Users are spending less time on pages – speed is king. Images can be digested faster than words. Ignoring the short descriptions available to users on Pinterest this is a social networking site purely for sharing images. Users can browse quickly, share efficiently and feel immediate satisfaction. This is why Pinterest is addictive.
Pinterest is a website of epic sharing potential. When you sign up you can select categories which are the most interesting to you. The network will then automatically connect you with likeminded users. This simple trick is a receipe of epic sharing proportiations. Every user you are connected with is likeminded, therefore images are more likely to get shared between users. Each piece of content has an original creator but it easy to forget this when using Pinterest as the sharing is of epic propotions. That “re-pin” button will be pressed thousands of times by most users.
For the Ladies
Pinterest seems to be a network catering far better for the ladies. Popular topics appear to be design and fashion. The vast female presence may have something to do with the Pinterest user base built over the last 2 years. I would love to know the ratio between men and women.
Let me know if you have any questions.