What do you get when you cross the social networking of Facebook, visual sharing of Tumblr, and the personalization of blogging? The answer is Pinterest! This new virtual pinboard site has made a significant arrival into era of personal expression and interaction with others via the Internet. Combining elements of many other blogging and social networking sites, the number of users grew a remarkable 430% between September and December last year.
According to Forbes, “What’s even more fascinating is that Pinterest drives more web traffic to other sites than Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube combined. That’s combined.” As the Internet shifts towards a means of visual communication, Pinterest has already seen great success and a promise of future success as well. Personalization is key- users can chose from a variety of categories from fashion to home décor and “pin” whatever stands out on their own pinboard. Pinterest allows the user to organize images into boards for specific groups.
We are attracted by pictures of things we enjoy- whether that may be photography, cooking, music, or anything else. By human nature, we are often compelled to exchange ideas with other people that share similar interests. By “following” these people on Pinterest, users can like, comment, or re-pin (similar to twitter) other pins or even have their pins go viral. “Pinterest is popular because it feeds our insatiable appetite to share the things we’re passionate about. It allows us to start movements of our own, pointing others to things we like and enjoy.” (Forbes)
Pinterest is a relatively female-focused website. However, there is a male counterpart to this type of service. Gentlemint is the Pinterest for the male population. Content found on the site includes themes such as sports, tattoos, cars, and other topics that generally appeal to men. With specified groups, content, and features catered to its target market, Gentlemint focuses on the satisfaction of its loyal users rather than appealing to everyone. Brian McKinney and Glen Stansberry, the men behind Gentlemint, are more concerned with quality substance on the site over quantity. As quoted from Stansberry on Forbes, “We don’t want to be the biggest site in the world – that’s for Pinterest to do. We want a focused community. If that’s 20,000 people or 100,000 people, or whatever the limit is to keep it focused, that’s what we want to do.”