I started paying attention to Pinterest (pinterest.com) when my healthy recipes blog started getting traffic – a lot of traffic – from the social bookmarking site. Pinterest, whose name combines “pin” and “interest,” allows users to share images of things they like and create digital scrapbooks.
The “things” that people like and share vary, but they all have one thing in common – they are represented by visual images, which apparently Internet users love. Text may have been all the rage when blogs made their first appearance; then Facebook came, with a mix of text, images and video files. Twitter, aware of online users’ short attention span, limited the amount of text people could enter in a tweet, and now in Pinterest we see a very clear message – text and commentary are secondary; visual images are the focus.
Pinterest is what you would call “viral.” Without too much effort from the company (I never saw any ad for Pinterest), it took off, and is now considered by some as the number three social networking site after Facebook and Twitter.
Like most products and services that become truly, organically viral, Pinterest is successful because it offers something that users genuinely like and enjoy. It fills a void. It gives us a tool that we didn’t have before and that we find useful.
Obviously, for brands, Pinterest offers another advertising channel – an excellent one since it focuses on images and not so much on user commentary. As soon as I realized the potential that Pinterest has, I created my own Pinterest profile and added a “Pin it” button to my blog posts. Needless to say, Pinterest is perfect for recipe blogs, and for any brand where images and design are central to the brand’s identity. But almost any brand can create pin-worthy material, especially consumer-facing brands.