It’s addictive, fun, visually appealing, and easy, so it’s no wonder Pinterest, the popular visual bookmarking site, has hooked millions of users. That said, the site’s growth was fairly flat from its launch in early 2010 until September 2011. But since then, it’s simply been going gangbusters, begging the question–why now? Here are three reasons why we think it’s become so attractive.
Pinterest rides (and defines) a new trend: social relevance. Pinterest is successfully riding a new trend wave in the social space, moving mechanisms for content sharing beyond connections (friends) and towards relevance, effectively broadening the social horizon for us content addicts. Google+ has been the first to fuel this trend, by connecting social to search and media, and expanding the notion of connections to “Circles.” In addition, according to several industry rumors, Google has expressed interest in acquiring Pinterest.
Did anyone say “traffic?” The curious thing about Pinterest has been its ability to create massive amounts of inbound and outbound traffic. It has potentially solved the puzzle of placing social content clearly within search relevance, creating traffic and mass distribution through user interactions.
We’ll simply say that Pinterest reportedly drives more referral traffic than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined and has also become a top traffic driver for retailers (infographic).
That said, Pinterest’s clever pinning and underlying link sharing strategy, by design or not, is one of the driving forces behind both the network’s rise and its appeal.
The bottom line (for marketers)… Pinterest is truly embracing the spirit of the open web and finally bringing curation to life. It now empowers us to achieve two things that couldn’t easily be achieved simultaneously: story telling and traffic building. But most of all, Pinterest is solving the challenge of social content relevance quite elegantly.
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