Is Pinterest Doomed to Fail?

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The Web's newest digital darling, in case you haven't heard, is Pinterest.

The social curation and aggregation service, a "visual pinboard", if you will, enables users (which are trending towards females, apparently) to collect content they find on the Web and arrange it in categories with links back to the original site.

Sound familiar? It should, because sites offering some combination of social media and bookmarking have been around for many years. Remember Delicious? Or any of the hundreds of bookmarking services that have since been shuddered? While not everyone can see the value in Pinterest participation, the platform is growing at an absolutely phenomenal rate – but can it continue? 

There are many reasons why users/consumers will be interested in using Pinterest. Namely, the activity on the site is purely organic, meaning that visitors are using the site as it was intended. I recently watched my own wife spend upwards of 90 minutes on the site perusing and pinning items in a variety of categories including travel, hairstyles, fashion, home and kids, to name a few. She is the prototypical user for Pinterest, and she loved it.

The problem is that the honeymoon period (whether Pinterest is in beta or not) will likely end very soon – for both users and Pinterest iteself. Here's why: Internet marketers have not made their way into the system. Over time, more users will be brought in and that larger community of users, which will likely be difficult to manage, will start shaping Pinterest into anything but what the platform was originally intended for – and that never ends well.

Unlike Facebook and Twitter, where users control who sees their content and in turn what content is seen by them, Pinterest is relatively wide open – providing an opportunity to explore openly. That sounds great on the surface but one, two or three million marketers could render Pinterest nothing more than a repository for self promotion and affiliate links. Now, while I don't believe that Pinterest is doomed to fail in the short term, it does have its problems. In the meantime, I'll be loading up my Pinterest account with good-looking images and some affiliate links.



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4 comments

Appalled 01-06-2012 3:19 PM

So you are going to contribute to the proliferation of Social media spam? that's kind of... slimy. As a Web Marketing Professional don't you feel an obligation to uphold a certain level of Ethics? Partaking in questionable practices like the one you are describing above do little to elevate the image of our industry. After reading this article I think I just might have to un-subscribe from your site.

Peter A. Prestipino 01-06-2012 4:24 PM

ChrisD, not exactly. It was really meant to be tongue-in-cheek. Although...

Peter Garian 01-07-2012 7:53 AM

I thought it was funny Peter. Where would we be as Internet marketers and affiliates if we didn't use every tool available to drive traffic? As long as its done with a level of appropriateness and in step with the sites terms of use, there's no problem. Love this site and my subscription to website mag. Thanks for all you do Peter.

~ Commented through my Website Magazine iPhone App!

DonnaS 02-09-2012 8:08 PM

Well, I spent about an hour at the site to see what all the buzz was...coudln't figure it out. On the plus side, I probably wouldn't have learned about the Masonry JQuery script if it weren't for the article...which is VERY cool...so plus points there. As long as you  keep putting "something" of interest & that applys to the field, I'll keep reading.

I was amazed to read that they were "well-funded by a group of successful entrepreneurs and investors " ...I'm curious to know how they got funded...I went, I saw...and I really didn't think it was all that. As a developer I can tell you that every joe down the block wants to be the next Zuckerman and has the newer and better social networking site idea. And when they get all haughty and want you to sign a non-disclosure clause/agreement, I just laugh at them. I tell 'em look, I really could care less...I'm not out to steal your idea I ASSURE you. But they really think they've got it! LOL ...it's just not going to happen folks. If, for no other reason than people just don't want to join a new one, and go through the whole profile/self establishment thing all over again. If they're already set up on Facebook, facebook is where they'll stay for quite some time until facebook does something REALLY outrageous that makes them angry enough to leave. And that would have to be something pretty bad. Anyway...why does the world always want to copy the last money-maker...come up with a NEW idea for crying out loud!!

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