Are you “pinning” these days? Have you added the verb to your social Web vocabulary? Are you curating Pinboards full of design ideas and fashion trends? There’s no doubt that Pinterest, a social bookmarking site where users “pin” content to interest areas, is here to stay.
According to site analytics, Pinterest’s popularity has exploded from 1.2 million users in August of 2011 to over 11 million in December 2011 alone. The social bookmarking network has proven appealing to investors as well, securing over $27 million in venture funds.
While there is something very organic about the way Pinterest has come onto the scene and grown with devoted members in the two years since its founding, there is no mistaking the fact that marketers and retail companies are eager to capitalize on it. I’ve been a member of the site for several months, and watching the precipitous spike in followers, I wondered what role this site will play in our already jam-packed virtual social identities.
Is it merely a forum for consumerism? Can Pinterest create a community for sustainability rather than just more social shopping?
According to American Express Open Forum, the number one use for Pinterest is to promote a lifestyle. And because of a very specific majority demographic of younger, urban women (at least in these early days of the site’s rise), popular pinboards reflect home decor, cooking, fashion and DIY trends. A kind of homespun site design makes browsing pins feel like a peek inside a crafter’s workshop or a very stylish friend’s kitchen.
If Pinterest is designed to bring people together and highlight common interests, there’s evidence there of a strong interest in the DIY movement. Pinterest users are tagging repurposed garden tools, refinished furniture, hand-knitted scarves, homemade cookies, terrariums, etc. Just search for keywords like “solar” or “compost” to see a vast landscape of inspiration. Repinning also means link love for small online retailers. Pinterest can drive traffic to Etsy or other marketplaces where artists and designers create original work.
Apartment Therapy offers a handy article featuring 10 DIY project ideas from Pinterest: Why Didn’t I Think of That? 10 DIY Ideas from Pinterest
Rather than merely more online shopping in a different guise, this site creates a prime opportunity to share visual ideas about sustainability and living simply. Insteading readers, how are you using Pinterest?