I was chatting with the amazing Rebecca Coleman yesterday about the influx of activity from Pinterest. Each of us have been using the service for some time, but all of a sudden we each started receiving an influx of new friend requests.
Why is this happening?
I cannot quantify every reason for this, but one is most certainly the social, viral coefficient--a concept most of you are familiar with. We have seen this effect in the past on Twitter and Facebook, but in the case of Pinterest, I believe the viral coefficient is being triggered by people in a way that is not necessarily aligned with the vision of the site. Furthermore, I believe that that the staggering increase in traffic will dwindle after the current swell is complete. The traffic decrease will be due to the way in which people are "mass friending" one another without acknowledging what the point of the site actually is (I do of course believe that Pinterest will be very successful and the traffic will pick up again as it is a great site).
Why this will happen?
We have reached a new stage in the progression of social technology. Now that the generic social infrastructure for the web is firmly installed things are starting to get exciting. Social discovery through media is becoming a new way for people to connect, and valuable social discovery can only occur through meaningful content curation.
Social discovery is not about your friends, it is about your interests
I have been receiving friend requests from the usual suspects. The same people that I am friends with on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and so forth. I love each one of these people, but do I really need to be friends with the same people on Pinterest? Where is the value add in "re-friending" people on a new network?
The beautiful thing about the new wave of social media sites is meeting new people who share the same interests
So what Adam, why are you writing this post?
My motivation for this post is twofold:
- I want to let people know, if you have requested to be my friend on Pinterest and I have not reciprocated, it is not because I don't like you and it does not mean I will never friend you.
- I am experimenting with meeting people purely through content, not prior relationships. If we are meant to be valuable friends on Pinterest (and not just a notch on each others social bed posts) we will meet via a photo, product or random image
- I want to get brand strategists thinking about the essence of social content sharing before jumping on the bandwagon with no thought of how to best add value.
- The bottom line is, you cannot simply repurpose what you are doing on Facebook and assume people will care.
Now that we have over thought something that is meant to be fun we can get back to having fun. Happy Pinning!