Recently we talked about Google+ potentially becoming a Facebook alternative, now there is a new player in the field; Pinterest – pinning your interests.
Pinterest is a virtual bulletin board that allows users to share or “pin” images. Their mission statement is to “connect everyone in the world through the things they find interesting.” The images are placed on themed boards that users can customise, they can then be “repinned” by other users to share.
A beta was run in 2009 for Pinterest and 3 years later it has quickly become a successful social media portal for traffic, already overtaking Google+. Businesses can drive traffic towards their product or website and allow customers to share pins.
One of the major differences between Facebook and Pinterest is the copyright. As one photographer discovered, Facebook could get in trouble for copyright violations so why not Pinterest? Users are asked to pin images from their original source and to give credit when pinning the image. If a user is sued for pinning an image illegally, the user must pay for his or her lawyer, as well as the lawyer for Pinterest.
Co-Founder, Ben Silbermann contacted the photographer after her post went viral in order to remedy the potential legal issues. While some changes have been made, Silbermann has told users that they are still in the process of coming up with a fair solution.
Despite the controversy over the copyright issue, businesses are still using Pinterest to create interest among their potential customers. Peugeot used Pinterest to launch a puzzle competition where users had to re-pin images of the cars to solve puzzles. Viewers must find and re-pin the images that are ‘missing’ from their Pinterest board.
While social networking websites do gather a fair amount of referral traffic, search engines are still the biggest driver in that department. The benefits of using a social media site allow businesses to interact with their customers and personalise the experience.