As social media continues to be a part of daily life, we have become a generation that is now accustomed to the character limitations of Twitter and the short life span of a status update. Similarly, many of us have reconciled our Facebook privacy issues and the anxiety its Timeline feature has generated. In fact, as Facebook approaches its 10-year mark on cyberspace, it has truly become remarkable, how social media has already redefined the digital experience.
With curating being the buzz word of 2011, it continues to be a recurring theme this year. Moreover, one can’t help but note the latest social media platform, Pinterest.
Only last year, the virtual pin board seemed like a digital scrapbook, better reserved for soccer moms who turn to become more green and tech savvy. Yet over the past six months, the site has mushroomed with its number of users. Its unique social media purpose is asserting itself as a viable social media tool (Google+ is still trying to figure this one out). Particular areas of interest such as design, fashion, and food have manifested themselves in the most delicious and eye-catching forms. Who needs character limitations when a picture is a worth a thousand words?
For the many taste makers out there, and these days, lets face it, everybody thinks they are one, Pinterest is a curating tool. A lifestyle editor, the platform works by simply displaying or “pinning” a series of different images. It speaks of a lifestyle narrative that is much more dynamic than a single vintage photo taken via Instagram. As a designer I am ecstatic at the potential the site can serve for inspiration. I am always collecting screenshots of type treatments, colors, or graphics that capture my attention. I could share this with other designers and see what other people have put up as sources of inspiration themselves.
Finally, on the branding front, I couldn’t help but wonder how brands, businesses, and organizations will use Pinterest. I think we’ve definitely passed the stage where everyone felt pressured to be both on Facebook and Twitter. In fact, many brands have gotten a good grasp on the differences of each platform, and some have chosen to have a presence on one over the other.
For the big corporation or the artisanal-boutique start up, Pinterest offers an opportunity to present brand ethos. The beauty with the site is that it does not require much time to maintain. Unlike other platforms, Pinterest’s sharing component provides a longer life-span for any activity performed, percolating buzz across the network and ultimately the web.