Once the Daily Mail starts talking about the latest social networking site, it’s possibly no longer the new kid on the block, but Pinterest has shot to fame so quickly that lots of people are still playing catch up with the latest addiction to hit the internet – visual online pinboards for social sharing.

What is Pinterest?
Pinterest’s mission statement is to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting.”  Put simply, you scour the web for images you like, respect or just find quirky or interesting then ‘pin’ them to your virtual boards for other people to enjoy, ‘like’ and ‘re-pin’.  It sounds simple but is surprisingly addictive in real life.

Development began in December 2009 but it is 2011 that really saw the amazing growth that’s made everyone sit up and take notice, helped by the Pinterest App.  It was included in Time magazine’s “50 Best Websites of2011”and voted no.1 startup by Techcrunch.

By December 2011, Pinterest was one of the top 10 social networks, attracting 11 million total visits per week and driving more referral traffic to retailers than LinkedIn, YouTube or Google+. By January 2012, the site had 11.7 million unique users.  Whilst shooting past the 10 million unique users mark, Pinterest confirmed their position as the fastest growing website in history.

Who’s doing all the pinning?
Those keen to write Pinterest off as nothing more than a passing fad cite stats showing that the majority of users are women using it for retail fashion and home styling.  Whilst that in itself represents a significant opportunity for those who want to target females – leading the Daily Mail to ask whether Pinterest will become the Facebook for women? –  the latest stats on UK usage point to a quite different story emerging over here.

Mashable shared a great infographic comparing US and UK users on Pinterest, but in a nutshell, UK users are richer and more likely to be male.  What’s even more significant is that UK users are going beyond fashion and design, using Pinterest for online topics such as SEO and Marketing, PR and even venture capital.

Source: Mashable

But will people really want financial services pin ups?

Last Sunday I launched the first tentative steps of my own Pinterest board on “Things that are shaking up financial services”.  I’m not the first one to tackle money matters on the network and won’t be the last.  With hundreds of brands taking to the website it’s only a matter of time before a financial provider cracks it.

Next time we’ll share our best tips for crafting a Pinterest campaign but, in the meantime, if you’re a financial brand who would like to feature on my shaking up financial services board simply get in touch and tell us what you’ve been up to and we’ll do our best to add you to the board.

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Hazel McHugh

Before becoming a freelance writer and digital marketer, Hazel was Group Marketing Manager at Santander.
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