Pinterest has been all the craze lately. The emerging social network has all the right ingredients to become the next big thing: user growth, pageview growth, user engagement growth, pending API release, etc… It’s now solidly one of the top 30 websites in the US. The explosive growth brings up one question: in a world saturated with social networks of all sorts, how can Pinterest keep its users engaged so it does not become just another “flavor of the month” social site? We think the answer lies within mobile.
Facebook is all about people. It covers every aspect of your life, from activities to vacation photos to the events you’re attending. Pinterest is all about sharing and discovering products that people love, which Facebook does not do as well. This creates an opportunity for Pinterest to become the Facebook of products.
In order to get there, the key missing feature in Pinterest is allowing users to easily pin products, with accurate product information, from the physical world. You might argue that the Pinterest app allows you to do this already. But when was the last time anyone actually bothered putting in useful product information, such as price, product attributes, or nearby store locations, when describing a pin? If people keep pinning this way, Pinterest will be soon just another visual bookmarking service that does not have much influence on purchasing decisions and may not be relevant a year from now.
The quickest way to improve this situation is allowing product manufacturers and/or retailers to easily create product-pinning QR Codes/landing pages and place them in front of their products. This would make it so that when a Pinterest customer sees a product he or she is interested in, with a QR scanning app and one button click, he or she can pin the product onto a pin board. The product makers/sellers would control the pin description so it always contains accurate, relevant information.
Imagine a world where every product can be easily added to Pinterest. You’d be able to simply go to Pinterest to look up all the information about a particular product and see if other people like the same product. By doing this, Pinterest would truly link the physical world with the digital world and allow products to go viral very quickly. It will turn Pinterest into the best channel for marketing and even selling products.
Some manufacturers are already using Pinterest to showcase their products. Can Pinterest capitalize on this and become the social channel for products?