Some food for thought about Pinterest

Given Pinterest’s tremendous momentum these past few months, it was only a matter of time before competitors would emerge and try to replicate the look and feel of the virtual pinboard. In fact, a number of new platforms are doing just that, but gearing up to different audiences, a good point of difference, considering the uniformity of Pinterest’s user base: according to a recent infographic published by Mashable, 87% of Pinterest’s estimated 11.7 million monthly U.S. visitors are female. 

Three newcomers have tried to differentiate themselves by going after the male audience: Gentlemint, MANteresting, and Dartitup. All three have similar layouts and features to Pinterest, but manlier content. Typically, users share funny or cool photos related to style, sports, beer, cars and the ladies. Gentlemint is the most stylish. The other two are more sophomoric.

Another example of a website that recreates the Pinterest experience is Lady Gaga’s Little Monster platform, which launched as a private beta on February 7. The platform aims to gather a community of fans looking to share content related to the pop star. Although it is very focused, it is an interesting initiative that will appeal to the biggest fans (mostly gay men that is).

Brands have also started to explore ways to leverage Pinterest’s success: feminine hygiene brand Kotex has created what it claims to be the world’s first Pinterest campaign, dubbed “Women’s Inspiration Day”. The brand selected 50 inspiring women from Israel and found out what inspired them in order to create a personalized gift box for each. From there, women only had to ‘repin’ a photo of the gift on their Pinterest board to receive it. The campaign proved successful, sparking conversations on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Agency Smoyz says there were over 694,000 impressions.

French car manufacturer Peugeot also ran a campaign on Pinterest. The brand created a series of boards that read like an ad to showcase its new models, except some images were missing. So users were encouraged to pin the missing pictures on the brand’s boards and complete the puzzle for a chance to win prizes.

Additionally, a few brands have started experimenting with the platform simply by creating boards. Peanut Butter & Co. is one of them. The New York brand has established a strong presence and created its own boards in order to showcase peanut butter sandwich photography from their Nutropolitan Museum of Art initiative. Pinterest’s visual real estate is a great opportunity for a project like this (so is Tumblr, which the brand already uses).

And it could very much pay off. In a recent survey by PriceGrabber, 70% of Pinterest users said that cooking inspiration and recipes are their number one interest on Pinterest. What’s more, 21% declared that they had already purchased an item that they found on someone’s Pinboard.

(Sources: eyekayDigital Buzz Blog, Flowtown infographic, The Huffington Post, Mashable, Mashable infographic,The Next Web, PSFK)

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