10 Reasons Pinterest Booked 10 Million Visitors a Month So Fast
- It’s a Fun Experience: There are lots of ways to consume content curated by other people, but Pinterest is a much more enjoyable—and lean back— experience than, for instance, Facebook or even Flickr. Many users describe paging through grids of sympathetically grouped pictures addicting. The fact that there is still room for new entries in the field suggests that despite their huge popularity, social networking sites have not created great content experiences.
- It’s Easy: Pinterest’s bookmarklet makes quick work of responding to things you see online, which turns passive viewing into active curation.* It’s simultaneously a way to share and a way to remember what you’ve seen and liked.
- It’s About Discovery, Not Search: As pointed out earlier on TechCrunch, we go to Google or Amazon, keywords in hand, when we know what we are looking for. But how we discover things we want in the first place is still wide open. Pinterest promises to be a one-stop-shop for anything we might want to discover (at least visually).
- It Appeals to the Silicon Prairie: Although based in Palo Alto, Pinterest’s founder, Ben Silbermann, is from Iowa. “The first people to understand the website were mostly women in Des Moines, then Minneapolis, thenHouston and Chicago. To this day, the Midwest and Iowa in particular are disproportionately represented given its population amongst our user base,” says Silberman.
- The Content is the Navigation: Again, unlike Facebook, Pinterest has a lot less visible plumbing making it all work. Without the chrome, the ads and the news ticker you’re left just navigating a lot of beautiful pictures.
- It’s About Interests, Not Friends: Instead of the emphasis on who you know that has been the backbone of social networks, Pinterest is all about what you like. Shared interests are only one aspect of friendship—we don’t necessarily pick our friends because of their curation skills. Ironically, the pinboards help you get to stuff that interests you quicker by sidestepping your actual friends.
- It Creates Persistent Content: Unlike Facebook and Twitter that create fleeting timeline streams of content, Pinterest’s pinboards stay put. This is great for sharing and collaborating on image collections with other people, but particularly valuable to creatives or brands with something to sell.
- It’s Like Shopping: Although referred to by any number of analogies (“like getting a new magazine in the mail every day”, “like Etsy and Pottery Barn had a baby and made a scrapbook of their cute little family,”and even ”fantasy football for girls”) Pinterest resembles nothing so much as shopping. Perhaps flea market shopping, perhaps like the old Sears Roebuck catalog, perhaps like the mall, but shopping. And even though there are links to buy things, and even though Pinterest undoubtably inspires purchases of all kinds, it can also be a recession appropriate form of window shopping.
- It Can Be About Anything: There have been other sites that encourage curation and reporting through bookmarklets and the like, but beyond skewing seriously female, the design of the Pinterest product doesn’t limit what seems appropriate to put there.
- It Doesn’t Seem Commercial (Yet!): Pinterest is still in the blush of startup and has a very positive community ethos. A recent issue about SkimLinksaffiliate links (which the company asserted was just a test) risks clouding the feel-good vibe, and there will surely be other issues (See Peter Himler‘s contention about scraping your Facebook friends, for instance). But if they are patient and careful there certainly must be a way to convert all of that traffic into revenue without scaring away their loyalists.