Online scrapbooking website, Pinterest, is a very interesting service. In effect, the website is a means of storing, sharing and commenting on media, predominantly images but also videos. It benefits from a very good Android mobile application and according to comScore, it was the fastest growing website to break the 10 million unique monthly visitor point in January 2012. One of the advantages of Pinterest compared with many other social networks is that advertising is very subtle indeed: businesses can sponsor a board but the application does not have adverts popping up when browsing images. Across the world, the website has a predominantly female user base apart from in the United Kingdom, where slightly more males than females use the service. Also, Pinterest hasn’t been without its controversy. The website stores copies of images being shared (“pinned” to use Pinterest speak) rather than copies or links, which has upset photographers around the world. Pinterest’s technology foundation is the Amazon S3 cloud storage system, which is run from large datacentres around the world and uses data deduplication to reduce the database size.
Pinterest, like Facebook and Twitter, is another website service able to sell marketing information on but currently to a very limited range of businesses and these are Salesforce, Hootsuite, Spredfast, Percolate, Piqora, Curalate, and Tailwind. This information has a certain value: it can tell a business if their product is liked by the audience and of course, the comments have a certain value too. Salesforce have placed Pinterest as a key part of their corporate digital marketing strategy… but it is clear that Pinterest has bigger ambitions than selling on marketing data. With such a massive userbase (two years ago, a French social media agency estimated that Pinterest had 70 million users worldwide). We have seen the website starting to charge advertisers to promote their products but today’s announcement will likely change how the business earns money. Pinterest are not adding a “Buy It” button to new “Buyable Pins.”
The move follows a number of rumors and marketing information showing that many people bought something after seeing it on Pinterest. At launch, customers will be able to use Apple Pay or a credit card to buy things but it seems a fair bet that Pinterest will be including other ways to charge for items too; here’s hoping Android Pay will be in this list. At launch later in June 2015, only for the iPhone and iPad applications at first, there will be two million pinned products with the “Buy It” button. It appears that Pinterest is adding Android support later in the year. Pinterest’s product manager, Michael Yamartino, explained that shoppers will pay no additional fees to buy products on the site: “There’s no fee for Pinners, and there’s no fee for merchants. We’ve done this for two reasons. First, we want Pinners to shop with confidence, knowing that the price they see on Pinterest is the same price they find on the merchant’s website. We want to make it easy and affordable.”