Over the last year the social media site Pinterest has grown at an exponential rate. The site has more recipes, home decor, home remodeling, and how-to’s than Ted Turner has bison patties. Since its inception it has consumed more women’s time than Anonymous has spent hacking government databases.
Users of Pinterest “pin” web pages links on “boards.” These boards can be themed to most any interest. “Following” others on Pinterest allows you to see what they pin to their board. If you like a particular item on another person’s board, you can “repin” it to your board. Influence on Pinterest is measured by the number of followers and numbers of repins.
For many, many years Sonya (my wife) crammed recipes into notebooks. Reading through various magazines inevitably led to pages ripped out and put into binders. Those were the “one day I’m doing this in our house” binders.
Recently I realized, for her, Pinterest is a visual, organized, readily accessible, virtual binder. The pages that once filled our laundry room are still there, but few have been added since she joined Pinterest.
But that was not the most unusual thing. Last week Sonya told me if Pinterest began charging she would pay to keep her account. If you know anything at all about social media you know that “how shall we monetize” is the billion dollar question. ($64,000 was just way too cheap.) Facebook users threaten armed revolt every time the idea makes the rounds. Twitter has banner ads and “sponsored” tweets. That is just a polite way of saying someone I do not follow paid to force themselves onto my feed.
So the idea of someone who would willingly and unhesitatingly pay to use a particular social media really caught my attention.
I had already begun to think through how Pinterest is different from other types of social media. I have settled on this for one primary difference: Pinterest serves as a repository of information people access again and again. It’s combination virtual bulletin board, notebook and file cabinet all in one online stop. As my wife said, “I don’t want to lose all of that; I’ve worked too hard to get it together.”
If that is the case with a large percentage of users, Pinterest may find a way to become profitable where other social media have not been successful, or have feared to try.
If you are on Pinterest, please leave me a comment stating why you are drawn to it. If you are a “power user,” would you pay to keep all the pins you have? Do you have a board for blog posts?
Take a second to pass this post along to friends who love Pinterest and ask them to leave an answer.