Pinterest is a social visual discovery platform that allows users to search and share creative ideas through images or videos, known as "Pins." It was launched in March 2010 by co-founders Ben Silbermann, Paul Sciarra and Evan Sharp. Users can explore and save visually appealing information on digital boards, based on personal interests such as fashion, décor, cooking, travel and more.
Each Pin can be linked to an external source, making Pinterest a useful source of traffic for businesses and bloggers. Unlike other social networks, where content can be ephemeral, Pins can be discovered for a long time after they have been published.
Pinterest offers several features that allow users to interact and use the platform in different ways:
- Pins: Pins are images or videos that users can save to their boards. Each Pin can include a description and a link to an external source.
- Boards: Users can organize their Pins into boards, which can be thematic or specific to a project or interest.
- Search Engine: Pinterest's search engine allows users to discover new Pins and boards based on keywords or topics.
- Save and share: Users can save Pins they find interesting on their own boards, and share Pins or boards with other users.
- Comment and react: Users can interact with Pins through comments and reactions, similar to other social networks such as Facebook or Twitter.
Advantages of using Pinterest
There are multiple advantages to using Pinterest, both for individual users and businesses:
- Visual inspiration: Pinterest is an endless source of visual inspiration for creative projects, decorating ideas, recipes, fashion tips, and more.
- Product and brand promotion: For businesses and brands, Pinterest can be an effective way to promote products and drive traffic to your website.
- Long Pin Lifespan: Unlike other social networks, Pins have a long lifespan and can be discovered and saved by users for a long time after being posted.
- Personalized interests: Users can follow specific topics and receive personalized recommendations based on their interests and behavior on the platform.
Disadvantages of using Pinterest
As with any social platform, there are also some downsides to consider when using Pinterest:
- Reliance on high-quality images: To succeed on Pinterest, visually appealing content is required. This can be a challenge for users or businesses that don't have access to high-quality images.
- Time to manage the platform: Maintaining up-to-date and engaging dashboards can require a significant investment of time.
- Specific demographics: The majority of Pinterest users are women and popular topics on the platform may not be relevant to all brands or industries.
Pinterest for Business
For businesses, Pinterest offers a variety of tools and functionalities that can help promote products, increase brand visibility, and drive traffic to your website. These include:
- Business accounts: Business accounts on Pinterest come with additional features like Pinterest Analytics and the ability to create ads.
- Shoppable Pins: This functionality allows businesses to sell products directly from the platform.
- Rich Pins: Rich Pins add additional information to the Pin, such as a product price, recipe, or item details.
- Pinterest ads: Businesses can pay to promote their Pins to a wider audience.
History of Pinterest
The idea for Pinterest was conceived by Ben Silbermann, Paul Sciarra and Evan Sharp in December 2009. The platform was launched in March 2010 as a closed website, accessible by invitation only. In its early days, Pinterest had only a few thousand users, but its growth was exponential. By August 2011, the platform had attracted more than 10 million users.
Since its launch, Pinterest has continued to evolve, adding new features and functionality to improve the user experience. In 2012, the "secret pins" feature was introduced, which allows users to save pins on private boards. In 2013, the "rich pins" option was launched, which adds additional information to the pins.
Pinterest's rapid growth and popularity attracted the attention of investors and the company held its initial public offering (IPO) in April 2019. To this day, Pinterest remains one of the most popular social media platforms, especially among female audiences.
How Pinterest is used in digital marketing
Pinterest is a valuable tool in the world of digital marketing, especially for companies that sell visual products or target a female audience. Here are some ways Pinterest is used in this realm:
- Web traffic drive: Since each Pin can be linked to an external source, Pinterest is a great way to drive traffic to a website.
- Lead generation: Pinterest can be an effective tool for lead generation. Users who find an interesting Pin can follow the source link, providing them with more information and the opportunity to contact the company.
- Product Display: Businesses can use Pinterest to showcase their products. Product Pins may include pricing and links to the purchase page, making the purchase process easier for users.
- Brand building: Pinterest allows businesses to showcase their personality and brand values through the Pins they choose to share and the boards they create. This exposure can help build brand identity and attract customers who identify with those values.