Pinterest is rapidly climbing the social ladder to become the third most popular network online in the US -- just behind Facebook and Twitter, according to a new report out by Experian Hitwise.
The report shows that Pinterest received 21.5 million visits in the last week of January -- a staggering 30x more than a single week it had in July. The total visits in March show that Pinterest is rapidly creeping up on Twitter's 183 million visits with its own 104 million. Facebook is in a league of its own with 7 billion visits in March. LinkedIn, Tagged and Google+ rounded out the top six with 86 million, 72 million and 61 million hits, respectively.
Pinterest, with its strength in building brand and product awareness by creating an early shareable wish-list of goods is targeted more toward women, but a surprising number of men also frequent the site -- giving the new service a 60/40 split.
Also to put these findings into perspective, the photo-sharing company that just got purchased by Facebook for $1 billion in cash and stock, Instagram, only received 10.2 million visits in all of March. I wonder if Facebook is in the market for another big purchase, or if Pinterest would even be willing to sell.
Even if Facebook doesn't want to be in the running by buying Pinterest, the social networking giant is incorporating apps that better use Pinterest creations so that brands can share services with customers in search of items that they never knew they needed. The creators of Bazaart have launched a Facebook app called “Pinvolve” which translates Facebook Pages into Pinterest pinboards.
How it works is Pinvolve logs you into a Facebook brand page (so you have to be an admin to add the app) then the service creates a new section on your Facebook page which presents all your photo posts in a Pinterest-like set-up.
The app can pull in the Facebook likes and comments associated with each post and provides tools that let you and the page’s fans re-share those posts on Pinterest. When you hover over an image on the Pinvolve pinboard, Pinterest’s “Pin it” button appears for easy re-pinning. Clicking this will then re-post that content to Pinterest itself.
As Pinterest continues to gain traction across the Web, we might even start to see brand Web pages add Pinterest functionality so that the next time I am on Sephora's site, I can pin all the items I love and share them with friends, say for birthday gift ideas.
This is only the start of how deeply integrated Pinterest will be across the Web, so who best someone big will try to buy them before they become competition with Facebook or Twitter directly? I's put money on it.