by Liz Wilson
Featured image: Pinterest Logo
7:00 a.m. Wake up
7:15 Check Pinterest
8:00 Get ready for the day
8:45 Head to work, check Pinterest mobile
9:00 Log onto Pinterest at work just in case I come across something I’d like to pin throughout the day….
If this schedule sounds familiar, you may be one of the millions of women, or the occasional man, who has become addicted to the new social site Pinterest. For those new to pinning, I’ll shed some light on the phenomenon.
According to Pinterest’s own website, “Pinterest is a virtual pinboard.” A corkboard for the 21st century; it’s a place to save the things that inspire you, interest you or things you find funny. Instead of limiting your collection of images and articles to a wall in your room, Pinners can now digitally access everything they’ve ever loved via the Internet.
The mission statement on the Pinterest website reads as follows: “Our goal is to connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting. We think that a favorite book, toy, or recipe can reveal a common link between two people. With millions of new pins added every week, Pinterest is connecting people all over the world based on shared tastes and interests.”
With that poetic mantra in mind, I decided to search out just how many people Pinterest has connected. A recent article on PRDaily.com reported, “Pinterest’s unique monthly visitors tops 11 million, making it the fastest stand-alone website to surpass the 10 million mark (as opposed to Google+, for example, which is tied to Google), according to comScore.” (See PRDaily Infographic)
What is it that appeals to those 11 million users? Unlike Facebook or Twitter, Pinterest relies solely on creative imagery to catch the attention of its visitors. Instead of spending hours scrolling through people’s daily tweets to find something that catches your attention, you can open Pinterest and within seconds, find a photo or work of art that you love. Then it allows you to save it for future reference on your own “Board.”
(If your addiction to Pinterest has decreased your attention span and you don’t want to read any further, skip ahead to the column No. 5 media infographic below)
Pinterest welcomes its newest members by sending them an email that says, “YOU are the newest member of Pinterest, a community to share collections of things you love. We’re excited to have you as a member and can’t wait to see what you pin.”
With that vote of confidence, new Pinners are free to create their own collections of their favorite anythings. To “pin” something, users add a “button” link to their bookmark bar. Then while surfing the internet, if you see an image of something you like, you click the “pin it” button. A new screen pops up with the image, asking you to type a description and to select a “Board,” or category, for your Pin. This process is quick and easy. USU alumna Jen Ficklin agreed Pinterest is user friendly. “I like that Pinterest provides a very easy way to organize links,” she said. “Pinterest makes it easy to put all those web pages in one place so you can find them again.”
With the constant flow of information, people are finding it difficult to pull themselves away. Mashable.com reports that “Pinterest users spend an average 98 minutes on site per month, third only to Tumblr (2.5 hours) and Facebook (7 hours). Antidote? None.”
“Pinterest is so interesting to me because it’s a place where women go to build up a fantasy world for themselves,” Ficklin said. “Out of the 25 homemade wreaths you have pinned, how many are you actually going to attempt to make? Maybe one, possibly zero.” She continued to say, “It’s like a place to look at what you wish your life was. Obviously there are some awesome ideas and helpful hints, but I like to be realistic about it, which I feel like is a minority view compared to most pinners.”
Statistics have proven that a record number of people are going to Pinterest more than any other site to get ideas and information. A study done this year by Blogher.com reported that 81 percent of women in the U.S. trust the information they get from Pinterest. This beats out the 67 percent who say they trust Facebook and the 73 percent who trust Twitter. (For those Twitter lovers, a few months ago a Twitter rumor went so far as to say that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was assassinated by trained ninjas during his visit to China. Pinterest has yet to corroborate the story.)
The culture of Pinterest has grown to become a forum where people go for what they believe will be factual information. However, most users trust what they see without even knowing the person who pinned it. This form of social networking leaves little platform for users to converse and get to know one another. So you may be taking a cleaning tip from an 85-year-old man who pinned a picture of a mop thinking it was an image of a toupee. But despite the actual legitimacy behind the pins, people (especially women) continue to put their faith and their time into this latest trend.
Pinterest has also become a powerhouse in the work of online marketing as well. The advertising agency Modea describes the appeal of Pinterest as a tool for business. “The power of Pinterest lies in the fact that it transforms every one of its users into a personal curator of content at the click of a button. The visual nature and simple experience is a great fit for brands that want to be an organic part of their customer’s social lives.” (See Modea Infographic.) Users like Ficklin and Michelle Cheal Nielsen are the target audience for a variety of business.
So there you have it. Pinterest is a mega-force for connecting business and individuals. If you are involved with a business, Pinterest may be the next big thing in expanding your clientele. If you are just an average person, Pinterest is for you too. To learn more about Pinterest, check it out yourself (link to http://www.pinterest.com).