by Todd Bailey
Recently, the entire Web community has been abuzz about Pinterest. Although the upstart social network is still in the open beta testing phase, it has overtaken LinkedIn as America's third largest social site, according to Experian Hitwise. At present, Pinterest is reaching millions of worldwide users per month and since January, has held the distinction of being the site to break ten million unique hits in the shortest timeframe. Pinterest is a social networking phenomenon that shows no signs of diminishing, but is there long-term viability within the Pinterest brand?
Pinterest does provide a unique approach to image sharing and could potentially give businesses a forum to display their products. Thus far, some companies have already attempted to utilize the site for this purpose, but some are still skeptical about investing much time or money into Pinterest-specific marketing efforts. As a marketing tool, Pinterest could prove useful on a long-term basis if the company is willing to embrace the concept.
Some users are concerned that advertisements within Pinterest's aesthetically pleasing design may interfere with the layout, which is one of the site's strengths. However, as with Facebook and Twitter, the implementation of "sponsored pins" could generate substantial revenue for Pinterest, while giving companies more incentive to advertise on the site without compromising its design.
Only time will tell if Pinterest has considered advertising and marketing offerings as part of their five year plan. The network is likely to evolve, similar to its competitors. Perhaps Pinterest's greatest asset is the "organic" feel of the site. Browsing through the online pinboard is enjoyable for its users. It also creates a "sticky" environment, which keeps users on the site for longer periods of time. Sticky pages are desirable for online marketers and advertisers, as they typically ensure greater ad visibility. Pinterest could definitely become a great long-term investment for Internet marketers, if the company is willing to utilize them and the profitability they will offer.
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