The internet has anointed its next big thing. Even if you somehow have not yet encountered Pinterest, it is very likely that you shortly will. Pinterest is the new online scrapbook that allows its users to share photography and gorgeous imagery with one another and which has taken the prize for quickest growing website of 2011 / 2012. And that growth is thanks to the passionate embracing of the site by millions of women (ironic since it was designed and created by three men in the US) who have adopted the site as a way of doing everything from organizing and sharing recipes, planning and decorating their homes and planning their weddings.
Pinterest then is a new site for sharing photos and images that lets its users pin post any beautiful things they find on the web onto their own virtual online pin board. If their users are browsing the internet and they come across a picture they love on a different site then all they need do is click on the Pin It button and that image will be transferred instantly onto their own Pinterest board.This can be used in all kinds of ways, from putting together design ideas for a redecoration project or putting up pictures of products they want to purchase, showing them to friends and family and allowing them to share in the plans.
It is the concentration on aesthetics that has won the site so many plaudits and a dedicated and large following. The web research group Comscore estimates that the website has grown at an unprecedented rate since last March and that it reached the figure of ten million visitors quicker than any previous website. There are some sites that were set up by industry giants Yahoo or Google that grew faster but they came with a massive user base before they even started. For an independent site the figures are unparalleled.
Ben Silbermann, one of Pinterests co-founders noted of the growth that it had been something of a whirlwind, moving from a tiny group of people working on an obscure site to a bigger team running a site for millions of users each and every day. He described it as both exciting and humbling. Along with ben Silberman the site was co-created by Paul Sciarra and Evan Sharp.
However, for all the growth there are some potential problems ahead for the site. Many people have already described the site as being a purveyor of large scale copyright infringement (most users don’t bother to get permission from the image rights holder) in its use of images. They have responded by adding a facility for website owners to prevent their images from being pinned. However, it will have been a blow to the owners of Pinterest that Flickr (the largest of the worlds photo sites) has implemented a no pin policy.
Nevertheless the company remains one to watch over the next year.
Alex is a business blogger and writer, who writes about everything from business equipment to business technology and from contractor tax to how to set up an umbrella company.