Thursday, February 9, 2012

Curating Online Interests With Pinterest

For a company that hasn't even reached its second birthday, Pinterest has already accomplished quite a few achievements. According to online intelligence organization Hitwise, the invite only social network received a total of 11 million visits during the week of December 17, 2011, which was nearly 40 times its number of hits during the week of June 18, 2011 – an impressive growth in just six months. In addition to becoming one of the top ten most trafficked social networks, Pinterest bagged the Best New Startup of 2011 honor at the recent Crunchie Awards, winning over Fab, Codeacademy, Nest, and Turntable.fm.

The Palo Alto, California startup was co-founded by Ben Silbermann, who has turned his childhood hobby of collecting tchotchkes into the newest social media rock star. Pinterest is an online pinboard that lets users organize images from all over the Web into collections or “boards”. “Pins”, which are the images added to Pinterest, can then be liked, “repinned”, and commented on.

Pinterest lets you pin anything from architecture to sports to technology. The majority of its users, however, are 25- to 44-year-old females who have a penchant for DIY and crafts, home d├ęcor, food, and fashion, as can be observed from the site's homepage.

But that's not all Pinterest can do. According to a recent study by content sharing platform Shareaholic, it now drives more referral traffic than Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Reddit put together. In fact, retailers and brands such as Whole Foods, Nordstrom, and West Elm have now joined the Pinterest bandwagon and are using the website as a means to interact with their customers.

Silbermann believes Pinterest helps people find things on the Web easier. “Amazon or Google does an awesome job of showing you what you're looking for if you know what it is. If you're not sure what you're looking for, there's so much else that comes up and gets in the way.”

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