Pinterest is the latest rage among the avid social media community of enthusiasts and professionals. Many of my colleagues have been pushing out blog posts touting this new social network relentlessly over the past two months, reminiscent of the Google Plus launch. I have found much of it hype and designed to drive traffic to their blog, rather than anything containing substance. All of the crazy hype got me thinking about the platform, the underlying technology and user base.
As usual, I do not shy away from controversial, forward thinking social media and industry ideas, so last week I made a prediction about Pinterest.
My actual status update I posted was as follows:
“I predict within 90 days Facebook will modify their photo functions to mimic Pinterest and remove the desire and growth of Pinterest.” – Further: FB will integrate this and make Pinterest’s growth outside of current user base insignificant.
Controversial? Of course. Now I’m waiting for all of the attacking, emotionally attached comments that will inevitably accumulate on this post. In fact, the update I posted on facebook garnered some 60 comments itself. It appears to be an emotionally charged idea for some, but I have no emotional attachment, just a common sense business perspective. So let’s take a look at this without the emotion…
Here are some of the factors that led to my making this prediction:
1) Facebook isn’t just gonna sit back and let that traffic build on another platform.
2) For the average user (750 million on FB) they want everything in one place.
3) It’s a very simple technology change to how photo’s are organized and shared on Facebook.
4) Facebook already has the userbase to make it stick and the infrastructure to maintain any level of growth.
5) A few commented that Pinterest has a very loyal following. I don’t doubt that, but so does Facebook and it’s about 775+ million larger.
6) Facebook doesn’t have to convert all of the loyal Pinterest users, just the userbase already on Facebook that have not gone to Pinterest yet. Game over!!
7) Others commented on the unique platform as a reason Pinterest is better. Parallels were made to Google Plus and how “It’s about the system…and it’s growing.” My response is that cool platforms do not matter, market share does. I further commented that Google Plus is the biggest wasteland in Social media. It is also the biggest gaming of search engine manipulation by a site and it’s users ever. All of this will come back to haunt Google itself.
8) Finally I do not think that Facebook will acquire Pinterest. There is no unique technology that can’t easily be duplicated within Facebook’s infrastructure and most Pinterest users and/or potential future Pinterest users are already on Facebook. Finally, Facebook does not typically acquire competition or technology. These three factors make an acquisition of Pinterest unnecessary and highly unlikely.
So there you go… My prediction about Pinterest and Facebook. Like it or not, agree or not, it’s what I would do if I were Facebook.