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Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you have probably already heard about the new sensation that’s been spreading across the internet like wildfire – Pinterest.

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a new social network whose main feature is its ability to act like a digital scrapbook, bulletin board, or wish list. While there are several other websites that offer extensive image sharing capabilities, Pinterest has developed this as its main competitive edge against other more popular social networks. In fact, it has been so successful in carving out a niche for itself that in two short years after launching its private beta, it has skyrocketed. It is now ranked among the top 10 social sites, and is estimated to be worth around 500 million USD.

The company was conceived a while back in 2009. It officially launched its invitation-only beta in 2010. Right from the start, Pinterest’s client base has always been mostly composed of women. Its first frequent visitors were mostly interested in the recipes and stylish home decors they found on the site. This core group of people then spread the word to their friends, who in turn told theirs, and so on. Pinterest owes its marketing success to the quality of its content and the power of referrals. On July 2011, only 13 months after its launch, the company had already its 1 millionth unique visitor. This rapid growth has often given it the reputation of being the fastest growing internet site in history. In truth however, it is only second to yet another internet sensation – formspring.

Fast-forward 7 months later to February 2012. The company now has 17.8 million unique visitors in the US alone! This means that during these 7 months, more than 16 million people have visited the website at least once – an absolutely amazing feat. What’s more, Pinterest is still growing – fast. In the last month alone, the website has attracted roughly 52% more unique visitors than the month before that. This was been confirmed by the findings of comScore in its most recent report.

pinterest unique visitors

Why should you consider marketing at Pinterest?
Two words: referral traffic – lots of it. In fact, by February 2012 Pinterest surpassed Google+, Youtube, and Linkedln’s combined referral traffic. In the next month, Shareaholic, an online sharing tool, discovered that Pinterest now drives more referral traffic than Twitter. Yes, that’s right. Pinterest now brings in more traffic that Twitter – the very popular online sharing network that internet-aficionados rely on to get an accurate real-time flow of information.

pinterest traffic source

Moreover, a very recent study by RJ Metrics has suggested that Pinterest users are starting to develop a more mass-market orientation.
When it started, Pinterest users were mostly composed of homemakers, and fashion and style enthusiasts. However, there are only so many people in these niche markets. As the site ascends into the ranks of the internet’s most prominent sites, its users’ interests will get more and more diverse. Topics everyone can relate to are starting to become more and more popular on Pinterest boards. Food, the 4th most popular category at the moment, is steadily gaining more and more interest from the users. In fact, food is the most re-pinned category on Pinterest to date. It generates roughly 50% more re-pins than the fashion and style category, the second most re-pinned category.

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