Why the interest in Pinterest

Update: Since writing this Pinterest has changed its Terms of Service

Pinterest is a visual online sharing facility.

It launched in closed beta in March 2010 but has since opened itself up to the ‘general public’, but only by invitation after a request is made, and then the account has to be linked to a Facebook or Twitter account.

It has grown in popularity this year and, according to comScore, had 11.7 million unique users in January. The main reason it has really started to pique interest though is through its ability to drive traffic. In January it drove more referral traffic to retailers’ websites than LinkedIn, YouTube or Google+…

Infographic courtesy of modea.com via mashable.com

At the moment it has a very warm, cosy feel to it. Its users are predominantly female and the content shared tends to be images of art, fashion, nice places and nice ‘things’. It has great potential for those who are in the creative industries as it is a platform for sharing ideas and thoughts in the form of images and pictures. It removes the need for over explanation and is good forum for those who ‘think in pictures’.

However, as with all that appears to be too good to be true, there is currently a downside. Pinterest’s Terms of Use for posting content to the site states the following:

‘By making available any Member Content through the Site, Application or Services, you hereby grant to Cold Brew Labs [owners of Pinterest] a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content only on, through or by means of the Site, Application or Services.’

This statement, understandably, is putting some potential users off as it implies that, for example, if an artist posts an image of one of their works then that image could be used by Pinterest for commercial gain.

Pinterest has a lot of potential in becoming the ‘next big thing’ in social media as it is well designed, has a nice feel to it and is easy to use. Hopefully their Terms of Use won’t bring them the same amount of adverse publicity that Facebook has encountered time and time again with privacy though…

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