Someone asked me last week what I thought the next big thing was going to be and I said social curation. For years, I’ve been saving pictures on Flickr of craft ideas, backyard ideas, art ideas, and travel pictures and while it was somewhat adequate, it didn’t make it very easy to find things later or to share. Enter Pinterest. Everyone seems to be buzzing about Pinterest in 2012. I’ve been using Pinterest for about six months, but over the past three, usage has grown exponentially and that growth is being driven by women. It is the first major social networking site with a majority female base (currently 58% of the users are women).
So, what is Pinterest? In short, it’s a way for people to share pictures and videos. You have “boards” and on those boards you “pin” things. People can then repin, like and make comments on your pins. What you can pin is limitless. A few of the boards I have include one for interesting recipes, my travel bucket list, artists that I play on my podcast Rubyfruit Radio, various craft and art boards and the list goes on and on. It’s is virtually endless.
In August, Pinterest had 1.2 million users and has grown to over 4 million today. That is a 4,000% increase! That increase has made Pinterest the 10th most visited social network or forum on the entire internet. Why has Pinterest grown so fast? For one, Pinterest makes it very easy to pin things. If you are on Pinterest and see something you like, you just click the button on the picture and it will pin it wherever you want. If you are outside of Pinterest, there are bookmarklets you can install on your browser. You click the bookmarklet and it will let you pin the picture you find interesting and also include a link which is particularly handy when you’re talking about recipes. Another reason for the shift is that some prominent figures in lifestyle living have Pinterest accounts. Martha Stewart has many boards about crafts and recipes and Paula Deen features many of her recipes. Television networks with broad female bases also have accounts. These include the Food Network, HGTV, and WE TV. They are able to grow interest in their programming by catering to their followers on Pinterest. Many retailers such as Michael’s are also on there with boards about holiday crafts and scrapbooking, things that are traditionally geared towards women. But you can’t leave the guys out. I follow a few men who post pictures of travel destinations, outdoor projects, tech gear, and things related to sports. There is something for everyone on Pinterest!
I am an avid user of Pinterest, as are most of my friends. Often at work, I find my circle of friends talking about things we pinned or saw on Pinterest or things we made that we had pinned previously. This also helps the growth of the site as people who aren’t on Pinterest might hear us talking about pinning things and ask what it is. Pinterest will be one of the ones to watch in 2012.
Do you use Pinterest? What kinds of things do you pin? Follow me on Pinterest!