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15 February 2012

What’s the interest with social network Pinterest?

Tim Gibbon, director Elemental By Tim Gibbon

For many, photo sharing social networking site Pinterest burst onto the social networking scene, reportedly building an impressive 13 million user base in the last 10 months. But in reality, it’s been enjoying a loyal and growing following for quite some time.


Image of social networking site PinterestManaged by Cold Brew Labs out of digitally savvy Palo Alto, California, USA Pinterest was created in December 2009 and closed beta launched in March 2010. After the obligatory invitation approached and eventual release to its audience (although so far it remains as invite only), Pinterest hasn’t looked back. In the spirit of comparison, has created and shared its  Pinterest USA vs. UK
infographic. But, which of the two is coming out on top?


I was introduced to Pinterest by Rachel, who was ahead of the curve due to a massive interest in all things crafty, knitting and jewellery. It initially didn’t hold much (ahem) interest for me. Increasingly the great tips and awesome new products from Rachel were being sourced from Pinterest, which began to fall into other areas that appeal to me. However, over the last three months there has been more interest from acquaintances across other social networks that have been keen to build their Pinterest cred by following people they know (including me). It’s as if UK business, advertising and PR media in particular spurned a greater interest in the new kid on the block and its now a marketers hot property.


The infographic with data sourced from Google’s Doubleclick Ad Planner traffic statistics shows the US is obviously surging ahead with 13 million registered users (mostly females interested in arts and crafts), with the UK with trailing with 200,00 users. The lower figure isn’t a surprise, similarly it’s no surprise that the UK’s Pinterest audiences includes content management, marketing, public relations, SEO, venture capital et al; given how and where hype around the newest social network currently stems from.


According to this data, in the US users are mostly female, whereas in the UK the majority of users are male. Perhaps as the brand activity and campaigns by marketers surface the range of interests will change, grow and evolve, maybe mirroring the established US audience with some UK nuances. The infographic also covers age of users, growth from May 2011, income and education status of users that puts the rise of the social network in context, explaining why it’s increasingly becoming prime marketing real estate.


Pinterest is great, but it’s not the only online pinboard resource like it out there with ffffound, Pinboardsvpply and we heart it offering similar love. Then there’s tumblr and more.


Pinterest isn’t without critics, particularly over its ownership of images when they’re added to the social networking site – although the site actively encourages users to pin an image from the original source wherever possible. That aside, it just goes to show that great, simple ideas that can be applied well can still be successful with the potential to impact upon a saturated market. However, with other services longer in the tooth and always looking to evolve further, could Digg, Delicious et al re-model to capture new interest in an obviously environments grabbing at lot of attention right now. With a growing UK presences and media such as the Daily Mail writing about it, we’ll know soon enough if the UK is ready for another social network.


Pinterest: USA vs. UK infographic

Categories: Technology, Social media, News, Marketing, Infographics

Tags: Pinterest, Pinterest infographic, virtual pinboard, pinboard, pins, boards, social networking, hobby board, social media, social networks, arts, crafts, ffffound, svpply, Tumblr, we heart it

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