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Pinterest: the new network explodes

Read time 2min 20sec

Online pinboarding site Pinterest is fast-becoming one of the most talked about services in the social networking space.

According to a report by TechCrunch, the site has reached more than 11 million unique monthly users in the US alone, making it the fastest independent site to reach over 10 million users. While Google+ has more users, it also had the benefit of a built-in user base. This is according to data from comScore.

In December, comScore also reported that users were spending a considerable amount of time on the site per month. “Pinterest is exceptionally sticky and keeps it users engaged for long periods of time,” notes comScore. The average visitor spent nearly an hour-and-a-half on the site over the course of a month and more than 15 minutes per visit, ranking it third on consumer engagement (after Facebook and Tumblr).

Despite still being in beta and an invitation only service, Pinterest's growth is said to be driven by its predominantly female user base (58%), who use the service as a digital scrapbook to share content relating to fashion, interior design and photography. This marks an interesting departure from the norm of tech-savvy early adopters first flocking to a new service.

Pinterest was launched in closed beta in March 2010, and now those wanting to join can request an invitation via the site. Users create themed “pinboards”, populated with content found online and posted using the “Pin It” button. Content includes videos, pictures and discussions.

Next wave

According to Eli Goodman of Search Engine Watch, the growth of Pinterest has been “completely organic” and a result of users sharing pinboards and sending personal invitations to friends.

Goodman also notes that brand awareness is accelerating fast, with statistics from October last year showing that nearly 900 000 people have searched for the term “Pinterest” more than 2.4 million times.

“Pinterest is on its way up, and online pinboarding looks like it just may represent the next wave of social networking,” says Goodman.

Shareaholic's most recent referral traffic report shows Pinterest is responsible for more referral traffic than Google+, YouTube, Reddit and LinkedIn. Shareaholic says the site has moved rapidly up the rankings, growing from 2.5% of referral traffic in December to 3.6% of the referrals in January. “That's impressive growth from just owning 0.17% of the traffic back in July.”

Shareaholic's ratings are based on aggregated data from more than 200 000 publishers that reach more than 260 million unique monthly visitors each month.

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