Pinterest is the hottest new social-networking tool. Hark, is that the death knoll for Facebook I hear?
Pinterest.com, a virtual pin board to organise photos from all over the Internet indexed by shared interests or themes, has surged from oblivion to 12 million visits per month. It is being heralded as the fastest growing site ever although users are largely female prompting the Washington Post to call it “crack for women.”
While it certainly is addictive is it unclear how is will generate revenue having already been heavily criticised for generating income by modifying links to products on commercial websites.
While this may be new, Facebook remains the social goliath with over 845 million users, Twitter is a close second with 300 million, and then there’s Tumblr (which we think offers a better platform), Flickr, YouTube and a plethora of others such as rival site Fancy (approx. 250,000 users) which last week allowed users to post pictures of their favourite items before buying them directly through the site so may well have a head start on commercialising its potential.
So perhaps the answer lies in what Pinisters’ co-founders Ben Silbermann and Evan Sharp do next. Will and how will they target the other half of the population? How will they overcome copyright issues and and how will they commercialise their user base without alientating users?
But what is clear is that social media has fundamentally changed the way we communicate and what information we regard as public and private. Pinterest is just the latest digital product in the evolutionary process.