What is it About Pinterest?

Business Owners

Pinterest addictingNo, really. What is it about Pinterest that has (mostly) women so addicted. Even after almost a year on it, and somewhere around 30 boards, it still holds a sort of fascination that draws be back into it’s clutches almost daily.

It’s not actually that useful (jokes abound even on Pinterest about that); it doesn’t have points or levels; essentially it’s about organizing/scrap-booking thoughts or ideas.

So why is it like crack?!?!?

As an entrepreneur, the success of Pinterest fascinates me. Here are a few of my ideas on why it’s so addicting (as an addict myself) and possibly some guidelines for other start-ups.

HEADS UP: Pinterest just came out with Private Boards!

Addicting Images

Pinterest is all about images: images of clothing, babies, photographs, crafts, food… you name it, they’ve got images of it. And images are highly addictive. How many of us, flipping through images, can’t stop? Take Instagram, for example. I don’t follow a ton of people on the service, but when I post an image, I almost always scroll down to see all the new images my friends have posted. Until I reach an old image, I rarely can stop browsing.

There’s something innately entertaining about looking through images. Take that “visual” reliance and add to it images that are about something we find interesting, whether that be taking photographs or cooking, and you have a very powerful time-suck.

It’s Mindless Entertainment

I don’t know about you, but I’m constantly doing something. Even when I’m “watching” TV, I’m multi-tasking with something else (often Pinterest…). Obviously not all business can or should follow this example, but Pinterest’s almost mindless entertainment – just enough to keep you entertained, not enough to require full concentration – makes it a huge success.

I’d hazard a guess that most men with phones play games on them when they’re bored – waiting in line, at the doctors office, etc. But, even as a girl who grew up playing video games, I never really got addicted to games on my phone. Sure, playing scrabble was fun for about 3 weeks, but then I was over it.

And then there’s Pinterest. With everything else going on in my life, Pinterest is no-commitment entertainment. I don’t have to respond back to people, try to win, etc. I just scroll through all the images and pin it if I want to remember it.

Curating the Internet

The most powerful thing that Pinterest changed was the way the internet is browsed. If I’m looking for cute outfit ideas, I go to Pinterest; Recipes? Pinterest; Quotes? My Pinterest board of quotes; Decorating Ideas? Pinterest.

Not always do I find exactly what I’m looking for, but it’s much easier then searching Google.

In fact, in the wake of Pinterest, many people have questioned whether the most influential people on the internet will soon be the curators of the internet. After all, with the amount of information available online, it can be difficult to find good/true/accurate things. Curators, those who organize that information well, can become very popular.

Things to Keep in Mind

It think this works so well with women because 1) it’s like window shopping, but in the comfort of your home and (often) PJs and 2) it provides a social aspect with any and all friends you follow or that follow you – and we women are quite good with the social aspect.

Ultimately, the real takeaway from Pinterest is that great ideas often simply take something people already do (sharing ideas on raising kids, window shopping, etc.) and letting people do it easier. 

You might be reading this thinking that Pinterest has a lot of issues with it: copyright laws, revenue questions, etc. And there are tons of articles online that deal with those from many different points of view. I’m personally fascinated with Pinterest because they came up with a new idea – a new way to view and browse the internet. Don’t get me wrong, the business model will definitely need some finessing, but the idea itself was genius. The idea is what I wanted to focus on – and possibly, things to keep in mind when you come up with your own ideas.