Why Pinterest Isn’t Social Media–and Why It is

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Pinterest is often seen as a social media site, and yet it’s a very different animal, too. You can “repin” articles, videos, and ideas from others, yet it’s difficult to have a conversation on Pinterest. If conversations are what makes a social media platform, then Pinterest isn’t one.

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Pinterest Is a Search Engine

The folks at Pinterest often say that Pinterest is a search engine. And it’s true. You can discover a lot of things you didn’t know you were looking for on Pinterest. Like a favorite retail outlet, you can browse to your heart’s content. You may go into Pinterest not knowing exactly why you came, but there you are looking for that elusive something-or-other. You can use Pinterest to curate your own content, or the content of anything you may find.

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Why Pinterest Isn’t Social

Sure, you may see your friends pinning stuff on Pinterest, but it isn’t easy. And it’s easier still to avoid all human contact entirely. Something that us introverts sometimes crave. It’s not like Instagram, where you may have long threads of conversations going back and forth. And it’s not like Facebook or Twitter either, where you can easily connect with people and see who’s online. In fact, in the article Pinterest isn’t a social network. That’s what makes it so great, Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann says “Pinterest is more of ‘a catalog that’s hand-picked’ for users.”

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But Then Again, No

If I want to see what my friends are pinning, I can go and look at their boards. I can follow them and repin their pins. I understand why Pinterest wants to distance itself from the other social media platforms with all their privacy issues. And you can see the pins from the people you follow, in the order they pinned them, too. And like Facebook, you can pin your own images from your camera roll. (Isn’t that why you joined Facebook to begin with?) And your pins and boards define who you are, which makes it a lot like Twitter.

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Pinterest is Great for Business

Are you using Pinterest for business yet? You definitely should be, and there are tons of reasons why that’s so. For one thing, pins have staying power. Your pinned article lasts 550 days on Pinterest versus 5 hours on Facebook and about 17 minutes on Twitter. That’s a huge difference, and as a business, your time is money. Hootsuite has a good article on How to Use Pinterest for Business that you might like. And by the way, if you think that only women use Pinterest–40% of new users are men. If you have a fantastic startup and are trying to be discovered and heard above all the noise online, then Pinterest is where you should be.

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Join Me on Pinterest

If you are interested in Pinterest, and would like to learn more, come on by! Pinterest is a fun place. Who knows what you might find there!




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