Pinterest is a site that stores bookmarks by users “pinning” things into virtual collage boards that can be shared with their followers. It has exploded onto the scene; according to comScore, it is the fastest growing standalone site they’ve ever tracked. With engagement levels reaching 80% re-pins (RJMetrics) for each pin, it is the hottest thing that has happened on the web since FB, Twitter and YouTube. Some argue that it will be even bigger than these sites because its interface allows it to direct site traffic back to the source.
An article on LinkedIn likened it to Napster, stating that pinning technically violates site rules because users don’t own this content and sometimes it comes from intermediary sources such as blogs. To ameliorate this situation, the Pinterest team in Palo Alto is actively working to ensure that content is coming from original sources and allows sites to opt out of pinning.
Opt out of pinning? Opt out of free traffic? It’s always important to avoid shiny object syndrome, but take the case of Chobani. Though its yogurt isn’t organic, the interest in Chobani’s yogurt developed on its own when Emily Schildt, Chobani’s digital communications manager noticed users pinning and re-pinning Chobani yogurt and recipes, while using Pinterest for her own personal interest. For the lifestyle brand, the leap into creating their own Pinterest account made sense because of their already existing following and the specific image they try to promote.