Sigh. If you are a social media pundit, you had better be posting about Pinterest these days or as Ike says, you’ll have your expert card pulled (the horror). So here it is, my inevitable Pinterest post.
What Pinterest has done right is significantly change the way we interface with social media. By making posts picture-centric, we see ideas and concepts rather than have to read about them. In a mobile, portable media world dominated by tactile input methods (touch screens), this is an undeniable future.
This movement towards visualizing information is also typified by Instagram and Tumblr. You can point to the popularity of Facebook pics, Facebook’s new timeline interface, and Twitpics as further evidence. Finally the infographic movement towards visualizing data as opposed to blogging or writing about a topic is yet another bellwether towards pics instead of words.
Pinterest has value. In particular, for my client Razoo, which has a very strong female customer base. Of that I am sure, and so I participate on it because its my job to understand its strengths, good and bad.
Pinterest is so painful to participate on. It’s hard watching the stream of puppies dancing in the grass, wedding gear, and yes, shoes. Really, it is.
I am sorry, I’m a man. It’s true [in spite of this horrible dolphin kissing me photo]. I really don’t belong on Pinterest. And I don’t believe in painting metaphorical unicorns to fit in.
That does not mean I should play on Gentlemint. What a pathetic copycat experience that is. Next thing you know, we’ll have a Daddy blogger revival. BlogHim! Thanks, but no thanks, fellas. I’ll keep my testosterone networking for the gym and ESPN.
Beyond personal suffering, Pinterest has a lot of questions that need to be resolved, too. For example…
- How will monetization via affiliate marketing impact content quality?
- Does Pinterest actually produce ROI for participating brands? Is that ROI primarily consumer and young, and female oriented or it will it become horizontal?
- Does it have staying power or is this the shiny object of the winter?
Regardless of Pinterest’s long-term success, it’s clear the visualization revolution is upon us. Every online marketing team needs to look at how to make content more visual. Also the movement raises some issues: Is the visual movement hurting information retention, education, and general discourse?
On a personal level, am I the only one struggling with Pinterest? What’s your take?