Pinterest is a social network where people can share their favourite pictures of cats, hairstyles and even their cars, in  fact anything that they would feel their followers would enjoy.  Sharethis has reported that the company is now valued at 4 billion and it has beat e mail to become the top way for people to share image content online.

Pinterest has experienced phenomenal growth and in the fourth quarter of 2013 the only other social networks that beat it were Facebook and Twitter. Not bad for a social network which acts as a virtual pin board!

Kurt Abrahamson of ShareThis said: “In a sign of how quickly social media has changed the digital landscape, consumers are now ‘pinning’ things like articles, photos and recipes to share with their friends more often than emailing links.” At 58% growth in 2013, Pinterest has become the fastest growing sharing channel, followed by Facebook and Linkedin.  Kurt continued: “The fact that Pinterest, which is still relatively young compared to other social channels, has surpassed email, which has been a sharing tool for decades, is just one example of how quickly consumer preferences and habits are constantly changing.”

The study also revealed that the top time for sharing is between 8 pm and 9 pm in the United States, and compared to 2012, consumers shared 37 per cent more often than in 2013. What is most interesting is that engagement is also up with 12.6 per cent off people clicking shared content and women seem to be driving this trend.

This has many implications for brands,as its a social network based on sharing consumer preferences which means it is the perfect playground for aspirational consumerism. If you take a look at the women’s fashion category you will see people sharing their favourite outfits or products they wish to buy. The home decor category is similar with men and women planning their “dream” living areas or just sharing content other users may appreciate and aspire to as well.

Making people aspire to certain products and have them “share” this with followers give products a huge amount of credibility that money simply cannot buy. It is not just a product it is a lifestyle choice after all and if you are a popular blogger, magazine or celebrity you have the power to reach millions of people all over the world in a simple click.

Topshop is a great example of this. The high street retailer enjoys over 61,500 followers and regularly pins its own aspirational content, which includes everything from Topshop shoots and look books  to the latest fashion collections. All of this is shared and pinned onto other peoples boards.

Looking at the high end of the fashion spectrum, British luxury brand Mulberry has over 12,000 followers on Pinterest and shares photography of all its collections, the latest of which was re-pinned by British Fashion Council, Young British Designers and various high profile bloggers – all of whom have a high number of followers who re-pinned the same content onto their own boards.

You can quickly begin to understand why ‘sharing’ and ‘aspiration’ has driven Pinterest’s popularity and offers so much potential to brands. Find out more about the ShareThis Q4 2013 Consumer Sharing Trends Report.


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