Archive for February, 2012

Why Facebook Should Buy Pinterest

February 27, 2012

Facebook is left brain.  Pinterest is right brain. Together, they are whole brain.

A few weeks ago, when I was checking Google Analytics about our daily traffic on the Berrett-Koehler Publishers’ website, I noticed that one of the top five sites sending us traffic was Pinterest.  A Pinterest woman had “pinned” one of our book pages on her “board.” What the heck?  I had not even heard about it until then. I requested and received an invitation within 24 hours.

Pinterest is a scrapping site that allows you to grab any photo, image, or video you see while browing the web and add it to your virtual board. You can make as many boards as you want. For example, I have several book-related boards, as well as boards for travel locations, dogs, and cool products. Here is my Pinterest page. Pinterest has a ‘Pin It’ button that you put on your browser that allows you to quickly pin any image you see on the web. You can also upload, but it seems that most people pin images on their boards they have already seen elsewhere, or ‘Re-Pin’ an image from someone else’s Pinterest post. The home page of Pinterest is a movable feast of color images from all genres.

David Marshall's Boards on Pinterest

But what does this have to do with Facebook? Facebook has spent a lot of time getting people to post their photos on its innovative new Timeline function and convincing people to tell their life stories on their Facebook pages, and many are doing so, but Facebook mostly links one photo and text message together as a common thought, but doesn’t allow its members to group thoughts and images together in personal ity boards. Yes, you can create albums, but they are secondary on Facebook. Also, Facebook does not have an easy ‘Pin-It’ button to allow people to grab images from everywhere on the web like Pinterest does, so the photos section of Facebook is pretty much limited to photos uploaded by the members.

The New York Times reported recently that Pinterest claims it has reached ten million monthly viewers faster than any other social media side. Here’s the article: A Scrapbook on the Web Catches Fire.

I think Pinterest is really on to something big. It allows members to describe their personalities in ways that Facebook does not, by showing their various interests through a visual collage or montage. Facebook is left brain. interest is right brain. Together, they tell a richer life story.  It is fun and habit forming to create new Pinterest boards. It makes you think about what is important to you in the present and to share that with others. If the Pinterest functionality became part of Facebook, Facebook would be a much more interested place to hang out for hours on end.

Mark Zuckerberg, your move.