Pinterest is changing its invitation only policy and is now offering open registration to anyone who wants to join. The “online pinboard” is allowing new users to register via Facebook and Twitter logins as well as personal email addresses.

Pinterest is a social network designed to allow users to organize and share things they find on the Web. Users “pin” online images, such as photos of vacation spots, or directly upload photos from their computers. Pinned photos from websites link directly back to the sites and are placed on the user’s “pinboard,” which can be browsed by any other Pinterest user.

Pinterest Interest, Value Explodes

Even as an invite-only service, Pinterest has been undergoing what can only be termed explosive growth. According to figures released by comScore, in Q1 2012, Pinterest experienced a 4377 percent increase in unique visitors between May 2011 (virtually none) and March 2012 (close to 20,000). This makes Pinterest, which began reporting unique visitors in May 2011, the fastest-growing social network since that time. Interestingly, another photo-oriented social networking site, Tumblr, follows with 168 percent growth. 

Pinterest’s growth is historic, not just among social networking sites but among all sites. The network was averaging 11.7 million new users a month as of March 2012, which is 10 million unique visitors per month faster than any other standalone website in history.

Ideas for Content Marketers

Pinterest is used as a marketing/advertising vehicle as well as a consumer networking tool, and comScore figures from its invite-only period suggest it offers huge potential as a promotional means. In Q1 2012, Pinterest users were ranked second only to users of the professional social network LinkedIn in the comScore Buying Power Index for social networks, and were tracked as spending more money on more items through more transactions than users of any other social network. 

Learning Opportunities

Undoubtedly taking these statistics into consideration, the Content Marketing Institute released a list of nine Pinterest board ideas for content marketers.

These are:

  1. sharing videos (so far images are more popular, but CMI expects this to change)
  2. creating miniboards highlighting important clients
  3. highlighting books worth reading
  4. providing advice and how-tos
  5. sharing favorite resources
  6. setting up miniboards to highlight industry peers and collaborators
  7. spreading the word about upcoming events and conferences
  8. highlighting relevant infographics and data
  9. posting inspiring quotes.

Open Policy Follows Major Investment Round

Pinterest’s decision to open to the public follows a major investment round that occurred in May of this year. At that time the large Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten confirmed it is leading a US$ 100 million investment in Pinterest, with a stated goal of helping the network expand to more international markets and solidify its business model.