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Pinterest – The new Cool Kid on the Social Block

 

Ok so its not that new anymore, but now that I had a chance to go through it, I can understand why Pinterest is going to compete with the top 10 social networks. It’s made TIME’s list of The 50 Best Websites of 2011 and received almost 11 millions visits during the week ending December 17th as reported by Experian Hitwise. That’s 40 times the number of visits it received 6 months ago.  And its still Invitation only!

But before I explain why I think its so awesome let me tell you a little bit about it

What it is

A place to share your favorite images online. The concept is to use it as a virtual pinboard to share interesting stuff; hence the name Pinterest. Images shared on Pinterest are known as Pins and can be pinned on different Boards that users can create to organize their stuff.

For e.g. Among other boards I created when I set up my Pinterest account, I created a ”My Style” Board for pinning things I’d like to wear and a  “Fun Times” Board for sharing all the Kodak moments with my friends and family

Pinning is pretty simple with their Pin It button, that can be installed in your browser’s tool bar. Instructions on how to set that up are available in their Goodies section.


How is it social?

The way it becomes social is that it allows you to follow other Pinners who pin things that interest you. You can also comment on their pins, Like them  or even Repin them on your own Boards. This way you start engaging with other Pinners and build a mutual following with those people who have the same interest(s) as you.

Whats really simple but extremely neat is its integration with Facebook and Twitter. Whatever I post on Pinterest can also be shared by me at the same time on my Facebook and Twitter accounts. This may not look like a big deal but its one of those smaller things that makes BIG impact.

There is also a Pinterest iPhone app, which lets me share and connect with others on-the-go. Another cherry on the cake.

How I See It Adding Value

The value I see is at both a personal and a business level. Talking about business first, I think this is a fantastic tool to be used by businesses (particularly small businesses) to share their products and get feedback. Just a few ways I see businesses using it are below:

–          Budding designers  and retailers can share their latest clothing lines and get feedback on how to improve them

–          Interior decorators can showcase the work that they’ve done

–          Furniture shops can share their latest stock and house arrangements

–          Aspiring models can share their portfolios

–          Bakeries and Groceries can share their yummy goodies and even get feedback on new goody ideas

–          A website designer can share his/her portfolio

–          Advertising companies can share their ad campaign stills

–          Fitness trainers can share their clients’ before and after pictures

–          I can go on and on and on…….

The point here is that this is a network where people can first hand literally see your skill/expertise, give feedback on it, help you improve it and get you more exposure by repining and sharing it.

Using Pinterest on a personal level is also quite cool. Some ways I can use it personally are:

–          Pinning clothes Id want to buy on my Fashion Board

–          Keeping track of interesting art works and decorations Id like to get for my house

–          Pinning all the fun activities Id ever like to do in my life

–          Pictures of those amazing moments with friends and family

–          Having a collection of all the funny videos I love. Yep that’s right. You can also pin videos if you want to 🙂

The What is Pinterest section on their website also shares some interesting ideas of how you can use it.

All in all,  Pinterest is a quite a good idea that has given users an innovative and fun way to express themselves and share what they’re all about. Its also got a serious amount of funding raised. So Id expect it to do quite well in the future. It also goes to show that while there are companies like Facebook leading the pack, the social media space is open to new players with innovative takes to make it big.

 
 
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