A new type of social media forum is taking over. Websites designed to allow users to bookmark products and images they find on the web are quickly gaining a huge following. The most notable, Pinterest, has already gained over 11 million users since its launch in early 2010. With the success of Pinterest, an increasing number of comparable websites are popping up, each hoping to cash in on the growing craze. For this post, we’ll take a look at a few noteworthy ones.
Pinterest/“The Forerunner”: Pinterest initiated the rise of these bulletin board-esque sites, and so far has been the most successful. This past January, comScore reported that Pinterest hit the 10 million-visitor mark faster than any site in history, and last summer Time magazine named Pinterest one of the “50 Best Websites of 2011.” Pinterest allows users to “pin” images, products, or videos they find on the Internet, and save them to a designated board. Users can also re-pin from people they follow on the site, or from the various browsing categories that contain images saved by other pinners.
– 32 categories on-site to pin from.
– Nice layout/well organized/easy to use.
– Promotes inspiration/creativity – not just sales.
– A product pin doesn’t always lead back to the seller, so purchasing items you see on Pinterest can sometimes be difficult.
Wanelo/”The Social Store”: Wanelo, which debuted in late 2010, is comparable to Pinterest in that users can save items they find on the web or the site itself onto personalized lists. Wanelo’s biggest differentiator, however, is that it is far more consumerism based. With Wanelo, buyable products are the focus of the website, and almost every item can be traced back to a seller. Like Pinterest, you can follow friends, but Wanelo users are also given the option to follow specific stores.
– Saved items are far more available for purchase.
– Can follow favorite stores.
– Site is easy to navigate.
– Not used for saving non-consumer items.
– Not as large or diverse of a selection as Pinterest, and products cannot be filtered by category.
Fancy/”The Newcomer”: Fancy, which launched earlier this year, is similar to Pinterest in the way that it is set up, but like Wanelo, is far more consumer-driver. Like Pinterest, you can browse and save various items from an assortment of categories – not just products. However, like Wanelo, each picture – whether of a tropical destination or of a cute little animal – must also link back to where it can be bought (with the exception of some food pictures linking back to recipes).
– 15 categories on-site to “fancy” from.
– Can follow specific stores.
– A “Deals” section, along with a user’s ability to unlock price discounts by fancying certain items.
– The layout – fewer images per page, so users end up doing a lot of scrolling.
– Since the things most fancy’d are mainly what makes up the site’s catalogue, the items end up being more, well, fancy. Therefore, users may have the ability to purchase items from Fancy more so than Pinterest, but for the price, they probably wont.
Gentlemint/“The Brother”: Think of it as Pinterest for men. Users can save products, images, and videos from other users or from the web. For guys looking for a stripped down, easy to use website of “manly things” – this is it. Also like Pinterest, Gentlemint is not centered on purchases; so many links do not lead back to a seller.
– Easy to use, simple layout.
– Accommodates the male demographic.
– The save button is a cute little mustache.
– No filters for searching, and all of a user’s saved items post onto one un-categorized board.
In conclusion, Pinterest is the most well rounded. You may not be able to purchase every item you find, but if you’re looking for inspiration, creativity, and just generally cute/funny/pretty/whatever images, Pinterest is the place. Wanelo is best for smaller, everyday purchases. If you fit its demographic, which seems to be women in their late teens to early 30’s, you’ll have no problem finding a ton of things for your wish list. Fancy is just that, a little fancy. Think of it kind of as Pinterest meets Groupon or Living Social. It’s a bulletin of buyable things and deals, but most of the items aren’t the kind of purchases you make very often. Gentlemint is perfect for guys. It’s easy to use and without frills. From steak recipes, to knives, to fast cars – it’s a collection of images, items, and videos that let men be men.