Pinterest is the longevity network. Yes it is. Pins and Boards flow and never die.
You will find things Pinned long before you found them that are still relevant to you.
And relevance is the key to longevity in this case. By giving users more of what they really want, and getting that right where many services get it completely wrong, Pinterest will keep relevance at the top, and users trusting it.
But how do they do it? What are the elements that build this relevance+longevity cycle? And how can we learn from it?
1- THE KING PIN, or THE PIN KING
If Pinterest is the longevity network, the Pin is the time capsule.
The ‘ghosts of past memories lost’ will attack but the KingPin lives on!
The lasting effects of the Pins start in the nature of the Pins themselves.
A Pin is something that is created to last. It is not an emotion, not an event, not a half-omelet that you store back into the fridge. It is made to last. This is deep within its essence. The smart Pinterest Pinner will then be careful enough to choose a good image and text so that it will be easy to be found later. Copywriting in Pinterest has a different kind of approach as you should prepare for the searches of today and also of tomorrow.
1.2- Ready for Anything:
They can even add a ‘Buy’ button to it if they want. Oops, think they did that already.
So The Pin as a UNIT is the best unit they can have. It is ready for anything, and will serve all the different purposes that their team can come up with. This includes deep algorithms for search and correlations to user interests! which is one of my favourite aspects as a user of Pinterest myself.
2- Never Bored with a Board
What is cooler than a collector? an organised collector.
2.1- A Happy User makes a Happy Network:
“Make your users happy and so shall you be!” (ancient UX proverb).
The ease of creating collections of all things you find can be so good that it becomes “addictive.” Users will think, that “maybe I should create a quick new board for that and…” And they will then start filling it with more Pins. And the cycle goes on.
A user will enjoy the experience of organisation. It will help them understand even what it is that they like about what they like. A great part of the joy in technology is the discovery process. Organisation adds into this discovery process, as the user flows through the digital environment and then truly lives the ultimate experience that is not to see or feel the presence of the technology, just the result of it.
You might say, “yeah, right, albums are there forever.” And you are right. But here it is closer to the core experience. All that exists in Pinterest passes through boards. And this is good for the organisation of the network itself, and for tagging, which add into longevity.
2.2- Levels and Levels of Tags and Categories Created by: YOU
Pinterest does it very well. The boards are a second layer of tagging and categories to work with. This will add even more strength to their system and to the longevity of the content.
Does it make their job easier? Are they dumping their work of tagging onto users? I wouldn’t look at it that way. I don’t think so. It might make it more straight forward. And it might give them a “higher plateau” to launch their ideas and algorithms from.
The Magic here is what they can deliver. Again. The correlation of Pins and boards and giving the user what they really want. Pinterest is the longevity network, so the experience must be seamless, and what runs behind that is a sea of meta-information.
Closing the cycle of reaching to the user with more of what they want is the goal. Always.
3- On Top of It All, We Can Still Be Friends
The SOCIAL aspect of Pinterest will come ON TOP of the SOLID structure they built first.
This will also add into longevity but in a less risky way than in other “social” networks.
An approach such as this keeps Pinterest safe from community mishap. Anti-social behaviour is not going to bring the network down, since even those that follow no one can still enjoy the experience and share content while being shared.
You go as social as you want to. You don’t have to be ultra-social to be there. This is what adds to longevity, not the social features themselves. The fact that users have the option to USE the features they wish, as an option, promotes user activity for the long run.
A network that is centred in messaging, which is quite a simple service these days, will be quite vulnerable to other messaging systems taking its place. When messaging is not the core offer, because it is not in the core experience, there is less risk of competition.
“Social” has become a very broad term these days. The expansion of so called ‘social’ networks and technology has created confusion in the market and to the users. Questions such as “what can I do with this tool?” are generating such complex answers that if the core stays simple, and on top of that you add “social features”, you gain in all sides. Longevity means keeping the core clean and fresh.
4- In a World of Pandas, I’ll Pick Kung-Fu
When you follow the logic of something that works, things will most likely work with what you are doing.
Pinterest builds on top of what already works in the Internet. Well defined pieces of content and information. Small ‘spaces’ where anything can be stored. Organised. Well delivered.
It is all there. All parts of the puzzle. This makes Pinterest ready to become more relevant and more useful as time goes by. Adoption will likely expand well beyond their own interface. I would predict that when more of other instances deliver Pinterest material easily, the network will reach much further than it does today. Users will have Pinterest as a source, but not as the full experience.
The blueprint is there. The structure is prepared but not ready yet. Once it is, many more features and even other applications will build on top of Pinterest. Pinterest is the longevity network because of this long term potential also. If it was in their minds as they had the initial idea, who knows? fact is that it is there now.
It is not an easy task for them. To become such a centrepiece for a larger environment. If Pinterest is the longevity network, it must now become the longevity centre for a broad environment. But hopes are high, they are “fighting the good fight”, in a land of Pandas they are Kung-Fu fighting.
5- See Things For Yourself
If you go beyond in Pinterest, then you will like to see its numbers.
Numbers = Analytics. And if you are clever, Competitive Analytics.
My “weapon of choice” here is a platform named quintly. I really like it. And not here to make too much propaganda, I will just say one thing – it gives me flexibility to find the insight I am looking for. I hate when services give me what I don’t need – give users what they need.
So pick your platform of choice for social analytics and dive deeper into Pinterest. Experience the longevity network building longevity for you.
6- Lessons Learned from Pinterest
Oh, time for a list, who doesn’t love lists?
Lessons Learned on why Pinterest is the longevity network
2- Be organised. Make things easy overall. And even before that, easy to find.
3- Layers will help. Don’t mix if it shouldn’t mix. Keep a certain degree of separation in features to gain freedom of development on top of them.
4- Prepare to deliver more. Despite what the future may bring, be prepared to execute the grandmaster plan. Be the building block for others.
5- In a land of Pandas, pick Kung-Fu. Innovation will not mean to ‘always go fully against’ the flow. But instead, to ‘flow together and within the flow’. And from within, then change the flow. Pinterest is the longevity network, and the reason is clear as […]