Pinterest drives more sales than Facebook
Pinterest drives more traffic than Google+, LinkedIn & YouTube combined
Pinterest hit the 10 million unique visitors faster than any other other site in history
In retrospect, it is totally obvious that Pinterest has become so huge. It is such a great representation of the current times we are living in:
1. Many want to express themselves, few want to invest time in it
I think the main drivers in the rise of is the Pinterest is the growing amount of self-obsession combined with the laziness typical with many people. It is perfect tool for the modern man, who evaluates how his success by the number of likes and comments. Or values celebrity over his own health. Pinterest gives you easy tools for self-expression.
If we think about evolution of self-expression in the Internet, it has become more and more easier. The tools which have provided the solutions to the lazy users have been winners.
When people had own websites, you had to have technical skills to create them. Then came blogs, which reduced the technological barrier, but you still had to spend lots of time to actually write the blogs. Twitter made the expression even easier with the character constraint. Then came instant photo applications. Also social networks have undergone the same transition. MySpace had much more opportunities to pimp your profile, but Facebook showed that usually people do not want to spend time creating something themselves. When it was easy enough, everyone started to share what they had for lunch and started to also think that someone really cares.
Pinterest frees you from creating anything yourself.
In Pinterest you do not have to be a content creator, you just pin. You can grab whatever content you feel represents you and use it. No need to write even 140-characters or take photo. You are just a curator. Pinterest did to web services, what mash-ups did to music.
2. Visual learning and expression
The last centuries have been run by written word. Now we are moving more towards visual world, where we increasingly learn & get our information from visual sources. Pinterest is good example of it. Other main players in this change is Instagram (no wonder that Facebook bought it) and YouTube.
Underlying philosophy in Facebook is that we are defined by our social connections. Facebook works actively to blur all the lines of your different personas to merge it as one in their network. Pinterest on the other hand is build around our interests, which gives its huge opportunity for certain target groups. The great thing in the Internet was the opportunity to be something else or something more than your everyday self. Pinterest gives that opportunity back to us. If Facebook is reflection of who we are, Pinterest might be more of about what we want to be. Usually the hobbies tell much more about people than their CV.
The future succesful web services are build on the laziness and the self-obsession of the users.
Well written article. As a writer I can sympathize with your argument. Collecting the work of others and then organizing it on your board doesn’t exactly scream “creation” or “self” expression. But I can also understand the idea that searching the web for photos that inspire, humor, or otherwise move you is still a form of expression. Self expression is the expressing of one’s own personality, feelings, or idea.
Much like scrapbooking or collage, Pins may not be the original creations of the Pinner, but it can be argued that they are an expression of some feeling, desire, interest, cultural value that particular person holds. They are symbolic images which allow a person to share what often is not shared thru posts, tweets, words: his or her dreams, desires, personal prejudices. There may be no better platform which currently and so obviously exposes a person’s values and feelings than pinning a pic which didn’t originate from them, but nonetheless speaks to them.