Archive for the ‘Pinterest’ tag
Today’s guest post is written by Mark Story.
Cathryn Sloane’s article “Why Every Social Media Manager Should Be Under 25” caused a bit of firestorm last month.
The debate surrounds how experienced – and old – someone should be to succeed as a social media practitioner.
I weighed in, as did the Huffington Post. and most people took Cathryn to task for suggesting young people “get” social media and are the ones who are best suited to incorporate it in a business setting.
I’d argue there is a bigger point here: You have be a social media grown-up; and that may or may not be tied to years of experience.
Being a social media grown-up means you have the essential skills to be a really good practitioner. Most of these skills are gained with time and with experience, but just like “you can’t fix stupid,” you can’t teach smarts. When seeking to fill social media positions, I would rather hire someone junior with less experience who is bright, because I can’t teach someone to “get it.”
So what is “it?”
Three Critical Traits
1. Excellent verbal and written communications skills. Twitter and Pinterest may have lulled some people into thinking words don’t matter anymore. Wrong. They matter in social media more than ever. You must have good verbal communications skills because you will be engaging in conversation, teaching, and evangelizing. In order to do so, you must be articulate and clear.
As for written communications skills, you cannot be successful at social media without being a good writer. Almost every aspect of online communication (more so in client-driven work, which makes up a large part of the social media world) involves informing and persuading people via the written word. You will need to reply upon your writing skills to tell a complex and compelling story; and sometimes you’ll have to do it less than 140 characters.
2. Tolerance for change and intellectual curiosity. In social media, the only constant is change. Today’s successful Pinterest was yesterday’s much-discussed Quora or Empire Avenue (read: #fail). New tools and tactics come along monthly.
If you want to have a career in social media and be a grown-up, you need to stay on top of what is out there, if for nothing else to make a recommendation to your boss or your client on adopting a social media platform.
Way too many organizations become entranced by the latest shiny object. The social media grown-up knows what’s new, how it works, and if it might add value to the company or clients’ social media efforts.
3. You must provide sound advice. Cathryn Sloane’s controversial statements stemmed from this: She referred to her generation of digital natives as those who are most comfortable with, and fluent with, tools such as Facebook and Twitter because they grew up with them.
True as this might be, knowing how to post status updates in Facebook is vastly different than offering social media advice to a Fortune 500 company, a government agency, or even a shop down the street. Each client has differing communications objectives, constraints, and sometimes legal requirements.
Experience helps to inform the counsel you give. This is not to say that someone who is in their 20s is not as seasoned as someone in their 40s, but let’s not confuse being fluent with the tools with getting paid to give strategic advice and execute tactics on a very large scale.
I could continue, but I’ll stop at these three core competencies to be successful in social media. These are the “must-haves.” You can be a social media grown-up in your 20s or in your 40s, but don’t forget that good communication, intellectual curiosity, and sound advice are all at the heart of being a good practitioner – and a social media grown-up.
Mark Story is the author of “Starting Your Career as a Social Media Manager,” to be published on September 1, 2012. He is a new media director, blogger, podcaster, professor and Social Media Old Guy. You can follow him on Twitter at mstory123.
Pinterest is continuously becoming a famous online platform to various brands, including non-profit organizations. They can use the online pinboard to connect with other people based on their “shared tastes and interest.”
Know Your Audience
Before you take the waters of Pinterest and start your campaign, it would be ideal to know who uses the service. According to MDGadvertising, 87% of Pinterest users are women with an average age span between 25 and 54.
Take advantage of this information by outlining your organization’s profile based on this demographic. This will enable you to provide an inviting content for Pinterest users. That way, it’ll be easy for you to get personal with your followers.
Give Your Organization a Face
Pinterest is an image-heavy platform. That being said, you can use this to give your organization a face and identity. Pin photos and videos that shows your staff, volunteers and the people who benefit from your organization. That way, you’re showing your followers that something can be achieved through your group, and that you’re more than just a name and a logo.
Connect with Other Non-profits
Since Pinterest is also considered as a social media, it means that this is not designed to hard sell your organization. Working with relevant non-profit groups is one way to build your online presence on the virtual pin board. This will help you connect with their followers, thus increasing your fan base too. Moreover, letting other people contribute on your board adds diversity on your content.
Start a Fund Raising Campaign
Having a Pinterest makes it easy for your organization to start a fund raising campaign. After pinning the image, just type the “$” sign with the price on the description box. The online pin board will automatically add a banner on the to-left corner of the image, and it’ll be added on the Gifts tab on the homepage.
Videos may not be that popular on Pinterest, but it can also provide a strong call to action for your campaign. It also adds emotion to your campaign that images sometimes can’t give. Your followers are most likely to help your organization if you have a compelling content like a short video presentation.
Using Pinterest may be a solitary action, but it is also a great tool to create a community around your orgranization. When used properly, it can serve as an extension for a non-profit group. What’s important is that you can create an online presence that’s inviting for your followers to share their stories, not just on your board, but also with relevant people.
Source: Pinterest Home Page
“Silicon Valley doesn’t have a monopoly on brilliant entrepreneurs and founders,” Derek Andersen tells me over coffee, “so we want to find them wherever they live, give them a stage and an opportunity to share their hard-won experiences with those who need it and might benefit from it.” That mission statement sounds like it might have come from one of the founders or mentors of Y Combinator, 500 Startups, DreamIt, AngelPad or Seedcamp. But Andersen isn’t a venture capitalist, nor is he building yet another accelerator or incubator. He’s not even interested in equity.
It sounds crazy, right? But Andersen is talking about Startup Grind, an events-based community for entrepreneurs he founded in 2010. For those unfamiliar, the company grew out the casual, episodic meetings Andersen had with friends and fellow entrepreneurs in his office in Mountain View, in which they’d gather at night to brainstorm, give feedback on ideas and business models and talk about being an entrepreneur. The meetings were productive, so Andersen decided to make them a monthly thing.
Startup Grind had its first event in February 2010 with nine people in attendance and the numbers have grown steadily since. It launched its first chapter outside of Silicon Valley in LA in December 2011. Seven months later, Startup Grind now has monthly events in 20 cities worldwide (Austin, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle, Toronto, Ottawa, Baltimore, Singapore, Tel Aviv, London and Sydney — to name a few) and the founder wants to be in 30 by year’s end.
But what does “being in” these cities entail? Andersen says he thinks of Startup Grind as being TED for startups and founders. Or one might think of it as an entrepreneurial Elk’s Club or a national, self-sustaining of local affiliate networks … a la Fight Club.
That means Startup Grind hosts monthly meetups in each of its affiliate cities, in which any and all entrepreneurs and founders can participate. These groups talk about the startup hustle, network, share notes on investors and partnerships, all of which is framed around keynotes or interviews given by local veterans, who share their knowledge and advice with the community. The founders of Pinterest, Digg, About.me, AngelList, Zaarly, Meetup, along with names like Jeff Clavier, Steve Blank and Dave McClure have all spoken at Startup Grind events in Silicon Valley.
Naturally, Andersen wants the Steve Blanks and Dave McClures of the world to be speaking at events in every city. So, initially, he and team would launch Startup Grind in nearby cities themselves, but entrepreneurs began taking the initiative themselves and now anyone (in any city can apply).
But that doesn’t mean everyone is getting accepted. Says the Startup Grind founder: “We’ve turned down the majority of requests to start new chapter. We’re very picky about making sure we find the best possible people in local markets to represent our community. We’ll start in just about any city, as long as we find the right person.”
If accepted, each city’s “Local Chapter Director” manages and runs their local network and community, organizing events and recruiting speakers. The team wants events to be the same everywhere, meaning that attending a “Fireside Chat” in Toronto should feel just the same as it would in Timbuktu, with an emphasis on “building meaningful relationships,” Andersen says.
That sounds great, but idealism only goes so far. There are a lot of valuable entrepreneurial communities and networks developing around accelerators, hacker events, and more. Andersen says that they really want to “keep it real,” acknowledging that everyone fails and struggles when building a company, no matter what level. Even the founders of Pinterest, or Steve Blank, have had moments of brilliance and despair, and Startup Grind wants to give equal value and voice to both sides.
When asked about the value for his city, Toronto Chapter Director Michael Caley said,
We saw an opportunity to connect the scene in Ontario to other hubs and the hottest topics in Silicon Valley. Startup Grind is a chance for us to crawl up out of the trenches and survey the whole battlefield. Having that perspective makes everyday at our startup more meaningful. Startup Grind Toronto has delivered a series of events to highlight the shifting context of early stage finance. In order to compete, Toronto needs to take these stories to heart.
So, while accelerators and incubators are known for accepting only a tiny percentage of startups that apply, Startup Grind provides a networking and educational venue for the other 97 percent. It doesn’t charge “dues” to its local affiliates, and the founder says that the team is trying to recruit the same people who help educate Y Combinator and TechStars companies, only instead prompting them to share their experience and knowledge with the local startup ecosystem.
The company brings on sponsorships for each event (like Bing, Google, local law firms, and others) and charges at its events, which the team believes can help create a more resolute crowd for networking. Startup Grind offers a rev-share deal for its local communities, but Andersen says the majority of money the events make goes to the organizers, who put it towards future costs and recruiting. Today, the company has a small staff and is profitable.
Communities like Startup Weekend, AngelHack and Lean Startup Machine are all providing great ways for founders and hackers to collaborate, learn and help build networks in their communities — and the more, the merrier. The world is a big place, and not all innovation is (or should be) happening in or around the Bay Area.
We’re hoping to build a community that acknowledges that, even in Silicon Valley, where the startup grass is always greener, building a startup is hard and can rattle the self confidence of even the most rugged lone wolf — and that can be a serious comfort and motivator to entrepreneurs all over the world.
Pinterest has removed their invite requirement! Now everyone who wants a Pinterest account can sign up and get one instantly. Exciting news, right?
At least half of you are now scratching your head saying, ‘funny, I didn’t know you needed an invite to get on Pinterest.’
Technically, you did. But unlike other soft launches, you didn’t have to get one from a friend on site or wait weeks to have your request approved. You requested, you were approved – no muss, no fuss. Now, I’ve heard from others that this wasn’t always the case. I’ve heard reports of waiting weeks for an approval and that might have been the case when I built my first Pinterest site. Honestly, I don’t remember, so the process couldn’t have been too painful.
Still, to the average person hitting the page, there’s a bit difference between “Sign up now” and “Request an Invitation.” A large portion of interested visitors wouldn’t have bothered to ask for the invite, and even more wouldn’t have followed through on the approval. (I wonder how many approvals landed in the spam folder?) By removing the invite, Pinterest has allowed for the drive-by signup. The, I heard about this place, I’ll check it out, signup. And since you can register using Twitter or Facebook, the process truly does take under a minute.
After you signup, you’re given a waterfall of images to choose from. Pick the ones that catch your fancy and Pinterest automatically populates an opening page for you to match your choices. The test run I did was spot on. So kudos to whomever designed their recommendation engine.
Once I was in, I noticed another change. Pinterest used to start you out with five default boards: “Products I Love,” “Favorite Spaces and Places,” “Books Worth Reading,” My Style” and “For the Home.” This clearly defines who they saw as their average user at the start. Now, they’ve removed the defaults, giving you four empty board templates that are easily customized.
Pinterest was already coming on strong, but the removal of the invite requirement and the open template should not only boost their numbers, but it should bring in a more diverse crowd. That’s great news for any marketer using this graphical wonderland to promote their brand.
Are you on Pinterest yet?
Last Wednesday, Pinterest announced in an official blog post that the online pinboard is now open for everyone. As stated on the blog post:
“For those of you who haven’t joined Pinterest yet, this means you can sign up without waiting for an invite: all you have to do is go to Pinterest.com to get started. In addition to using Facebook or Twitter login, we’re also opening registration so you can sign up with just your email address.”
Prior to this, users had to click the “Request for an Invite” button first, before being able to create their account. After Pinterest dropped their invite-only approach, users can now sign in for the social photo-sharing site using their email address, Facebook or Twitter accounts.
Pinterest: History and Beyond
In addition to this, Pinterest announced last July that they’ve added new categories such as Quotes, Tattoos and Weddings. There are also old categories that were tweaked: Pets became Animals, while Prints and Posters is now Illustrations and Posters. It was also reported that the virtual pinboard improved its old categories, so that users see less mis-categorized pins.
Pinterest enables its users to organize and share images of their favorite things on the net. According to previous reports by Experian Hitwise, the social photo-sharing website is the third-largest social network in the US after Facebook and Twitter.
Earlier this year, researchers found out that Pinterest got 21.5 million visits during the weekend through January 28. In relation to this, the website has 60:40 ratio of women to men visitors. However, the report is only based on web traffic rather than unique visitors and mobile users.
In May, the virtual pinboard raised $100 million in a round of funding. In turn, the funding values Pinterest at $1.5 billion. It was led by the Japanese commerce giant Raukten with a $50 million investment. As stated by Raukten CEO Hiroshi Mikitani:
“We see tremendous synergies between Pinterest’s vision and Raukten’s model for e-commerce. Raukten looks forward to introducing Pinterest to the Japanese market as well as other markets around the world.”
As of the moment, Pinterest is looking to expand their overseas market, such as France, Germany and Japan. Previously, the online pinboard is enjoying a mainstream recognition in US, but is making a little headway abroad. The investment they’ve got from Raukten could open doors for Pinterest in Asia. To date, social photo-sharing site has raised $37.5 million in venture capital.
Source: Pinterest Home Page
On July 21, 2012, I married my best friend. And, while life on the home front has been pure newlywed bliss, marriage comes with its own set of hurdles in the online world. Take, for example, this conversation I had with the hubby prior to the nuptials:
- Me: How much are you against me keeping my maiden name?
- Hubby: Why would you want to do that?
- Me: If I change it, I don’t know what to do with my Twitter handle!
Maybe I’m a bit extreme, but changing my name online scared me—especially since I’d been building my online brand under my maiden name. I was stepping into uncharted territory as Mrs. Tracy Lewis (instead of Ms. Tracy DiMarino).
I found myself asking: How do you change your name online seamlessly, while preserving the brand you’ve created around your maiden name? Well, this post has the answers. In it, I provide a step-by-step process for changing your name on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and Pinterest, based on my own experiences.
After logging in, click on “account settings” in the upper right-hand corner, and then “edit” next to the name field. Update your last name and username (which changes your Facebook profile’s URL).
If you would like to still be found in search for your maiden name, enter it into the alternate name field. Save your changes. Note: It’s may be good to put your maiden name on your profile for starters (even if you don’t want it there permanently) to help your friends get accustomed to the change.
Example set up:
How changes look on profile:
Note: While an exact number is not provided, Facebook does limit the number of times you can change your name.
Oh, and while you’re in there editing, be sure to make it Facebook-official and update your relationship status to “married.”
To change your display name (the real name associated with your account), simply click on “profile” in the “settings” section, and update.
Your actual Twitter username is a bit trickier. In updating your username, you can retain all your followers, tweets, lists, etc. However, you lose your original URL and username completely. In fact, your username becomes available for someone else to acquire immediately after you drop it.
If you have a large online presence, this could be a problem. In my case, @TracyDiMarino has been linked to in numerous blog posts, guest posts and even mentioned in Paul Roetzer’s The Marketing Agency Blueprint. In changing my username, I essentially lose all the SEO and branding power associated with these mentions.
To minimize the impact of this, I:
- Sent out a warning tweet to my followers that I was about to update my Twitter handle.
- Changed my username under “account” in the “settings” section, releasing my old username.
- Created a second Twitter account to re-claim my original username. (And had a minor panic attack in the interim.)
- Sent a tweet from my original handle, explaining that I changed my username and encouraging people to follow me at @Tracy_J_Lewis. Included a similar message in the profile bio. Note: This way, if someone lands on my old account, they’ll still be able to find me. It also gives me access to @messages and DMs to my old username in case people don’t realize the transition right away.
- Updated as many of the old links and references to my Twitter handle as possible.
In the “settings” section, click on “edit your name, location and industry.” Update the last name and maiden name fields. By including your maiden name, you still show up in LinkedIn searches for it.
Example set up:
Note: Unfortunately, public profiles do not display the maiden name field, so you may not appear if someone searches on Google, Bing or other search engines. For this reason, I kept my maiden name in my public profile URL to help with search rankings.
To update your public profile URL, click on “edit profile” on the profile tab in the main navigation, and then “edit” next to the public profile field. Change your URL as relevant.
Here’s how my profile now looks to LinkedIn users:
On the “view profile” screen, select “edit profile.” Click on the name field, and then “more options.” Update your last name. If you would like your maiden name displayed on your profile and to appear in searches, list it in the nickname field. Select how you would like your name displayed on your profile, and hit “save.”
This is what the updates will look like:
Note: Google+ limits name changes to three times every two years.
Select “settings” in the right-hand corner. Then, in the profile section, update your last name and username. Hit “save.”
Tips For Social Newlyweds
In going through the name-change experience, here are some other pointers:
- Don’t forget about changing your name on email accounts, email signatures, and other web pages where your name is listed. (For instance, I had to update my PR 20/20 bio page.) Tip: Do a quick search in Google for your maiden name to make sure you don’t miss any main mentions or accounts.
- If possible, keep your maiden name associated with accounts and content for search purposes—at least until your new name catches on. For example, I changed my blog bios to Tracy (DiMarino) Lewis, since I’m better known by my maiden name.
- If you change any URLs, be sure to update them across the web. For example, I changed my LinkedIn public profile URL, which was linked to from my Twitter page and the PR 20/20 site, among other places. I also had to update my email signature. Most social sites do not put redirects in place for you, so you’ll need to manually change links.
- Don’t change your avatar (profile picture) at the same time you change your name. Your name and avatar are the two most recognizable aspects of your social profiles. Updating both at the same time makes it harder for people (particularly social acquaintances) to make the connection that you’re still the same person.
- When it makes sense, warn your network that a name change is about to take place. For example, I sent out a tweet before I switched my Twitter handle as a heads up.
- Lastly, don’t marry someone with a common last name. Okay, so this is a joke (sort of). In all seriousness though, if your new last name is common, be sure to reserve usernames as soon as possible, as they go quick. In many cases, I found that my preferred names and URLs had already been taken.
Advice for the Blushing Bride
Have you recently been married? How did you handle the whole online name change? I’d love to hear your tips and experiences.
Or, if you just want to share with me marriage advice, honeymoon stories or whatever else married people talk about, I’ll take that as well!
Comments are yours.
>> Carlo Pandian pitched me with a ready-made guest post. But his pitch was so good that I pitched him on writing about Pinterest instead. PR’s ability to drive consumers through the purchase funnel tends to focus on awareness. I like some of his Pinterest tips for PR people as they include tips for generating more than awareness — while adhering to Pinterest’s much-appreciated no direct sales rules.
Don’t Forget: The tips below assume YOUR audience is on Pinterest and the tactic of pinning supports broader strategies in your plan.<<
The idea behind Pinterest is to create attractive pin boards on your profile based on your interests, or your products and services if you’re a business. Once you have created your pin boards all you need to do is ‘pin’ relevant images to the right boards and try to raise a following.
Direct Sales Aren’t Allowed
There are strict guidelines you will need to follow. In the terms and conditions it does state that you are not able to use the site for direct sales, but there are plenty of other uses that can lead to more sales.
First and foremost you must receive an invitation to open an account. A quick shout out on Twitter should be enough for someone to lend you a hand if you need it. Check within your own circles first though, with over 10 million users it’s likely you already know someone who can invite you. Failing that you can request an invite directly from Pinterest.
Here 10 tips on how to get on-board and start making use of this popular platform.
1. Create product specific boards and show images of your goods. If you offer a service you can still use the images from your blog posts or web pages. Each image links back to the page you pinned it from, which is why it’s very useful for adding links to your website and bringing in new traffic. Create new boards for your ranges to keep things organised.
2. Think outside the box when it comes to marketing. You cannot directly sell anything but you could use the site to pin special offer coupons, QR codes on your images or attractive images of entire collections to excite the viewer.
3. Try and cross promote all of your social sites with Pinterest. Link up your website, Twitter account and Facebook when you create your profile and send your pinned images over to your various sites. Add your profile pictures and cover photos from Facebook onto a pin board, send pinned pictures directly to your Twitter account and encourage users of all social networks to visit all of your sites individually.
4. Add the ‘Follow me on Pinterest’ button to your website next to your other social media buttons so people can follow you with one easy click.
5. The ‘Pin It’ button is another essential addition to your website specifically your product pages and your blog.
6. Conduct market research by reaching out to users and asking for their opinions. Show ideas in the making, products which are being developed and see what the reaction is.
7. It’s possible to add video content onto Pinterest so if you create your own video marketing remember to add these onto the relevant boards. Remember there is no direct selling, so consider the contents before pinning.
8. If you have stories or news about your company across the Internet add it to your ‘In the News’ board.
9. Ask your employees to all create their own pin board on the company profile. Let their personality show, yet ensure they are aware of the rules first.
10. As with all social networking you mustn’t be selfish. Repin, share and comment on the pins and boards of others in order to raise an interest in you.
Carlo Pandian is a freelance writer based in London and blogs for Media Recruitment on public relations, marketing and careers. When he’s not online or cycling around town, you can’t get him out of the kitchen for his love of food.
In an online shopping frenzy, do you wish you could save all your favorite items into one handy shopping list? Wantworthy, an e-commerce tool to organize, and get feedback on products, launches today with $1 million in backing from Google Ventures, Quotidien Ventures, and RRE Ventures.
Simply sign up to the site and add the Wantworthy bookmarklet by dragging it into your browser’s toolbar. If you’re perusing online stores and you see something you crave, you can add it to your list for later. Wantworthy is integrated with Facebook, which makes it easier to share items with your friends to help you decide what to buy.
The New York-based company was started in 2011 and has grown to a team of five (pictured below). The founders, Lauren McDevitt and Josh Wais, are alumni of TechStars, a startup accelerator often described as a “bootcamp” for tech entrepreneurs.
It’s a potentially useful tool for shoppers, but the startup will have to vie for market share in a space that includes trendy startups like The Fancy and Pinterest. Why bother bookmarking items, when you can pin them? The service probably caters to the same personality type that compulsively make lists of potential purchases and enjoys pinning beautiful things to a virtual dashboard.
McDevitt, CEO, told me that Wantworthy is a practical tool for shoppers who are actually looking to make a purchase, while Pinterest is aspirational and a place to show off your taste. For instance, you might pin a $1,200 Burberry trench that you’ll one day own, but you probably wouldn’t broadcast to the world that you’re considering buying some $4 flip flops. The tool may also work well in collaboration with Pinterest, as users often comment that they “want” an item after they pin it.
McDevitt said the focus on lists is core to the company’s business model. Wantworthy plans to make money by working with retailers to bring offers and promotions to users based on their shopping and browser history. Bookmark a pair of Bloomingdales designer shades, and you might receive a discount on your purchase.
The startup will have to fight several competitors for users, but it will be a useful tool for avid online shoppers. At the very least, seeing all your potential purchases in one place may help you avoid blowing the bank.
Filed under: VentureBeat
Wantworthy Is Wanted: The “Instapaper For Shopping” Raises $1 Million From RRE, Google Ventures And Others
Wantworthy, a 2011 TechStars NYC grad offering an online shopping tool for tracking everything you want to buy in one place, has just raised a $1 million in seed funding. RRE Ventures led the round, and Google Ventures, Quotidian Ventures, and several NYC-area angels also participated.
Although on the surface the company might appear to be competitive with Pinterest, various bookmarking tools, or even Amazon’s Universal Wish List utility, for example, Wantworthy has a bigger vision. The long-term goal is not just to be a place where you collect things you want to purchase, it will also tell you when to buy them.
CEO Lauren McDevitt says she came up with the idea because she was an avid online shopper. “I was constantly finding products I liked, but wasn’t ready to buy in the moment,” she says. “The whole process was kind of a mess. I’d have a whole bunch of tabs open. I’d try to bookmark the links – which obviously wasn’t very efficient. I wanted a tool that would help me keep all the products I wanted when I shopped online in one simple list.”
Some might say that’s what Pinterest is being used for these days, but co-founder Josh Wais explains the two services are actually quite different once you scratch the surface. Most users on Pinterest are not saving things from outside the site, he says, they’re using Pinterest for discovery instead. This changes the nature of what people tend to save. “They save aspirational stuff,” he says. “What we see with Wantworthy – some of our top stores are Forever 21, ModCloth, Urban Outfitters – it’s real shopping.”
Another big difference is that the lists on Wantworthy are private by default, and the sharing functions – which will arrive next week – are also completely different. “We didn’t want to slap on some cheesy social model,” says McDevitt. “We looked at the way people were organically using Wantworthy, and we found they were sharing links with maybe five to ten closest friends and bookmarking them. We wanted to foster that experience,” she says.
With the sharing features, it’s not about repinning or reposting links. Users instead can invite their friends to give feedback. In addition to support for comments, the items will have three buttons which friends can click: “must buy,” “like it,” and “meh.”
What’s even more exciting (at least to heavy shoppers) is what the team is working on next: price alerts. With this feature, expected out later this fall, Wantworthy will alert users to when prices change. And that’s not necessarily implying a drop or when an item goes on sale, but any change. Further down the road, the company will work with individual retailers to alert users to inventory level changes, such as when something is running out of stock, for example. And it will help retailers connect with their customers through offers and promotions, to encourage them to move from “thinking about buying” something to actually buying it.
The site launched into beta following its debut at TechStars NYC’s demo day in October, so it’s too soon for them to talk user numbers, the founders tell me. However, they will talk engagement numbers, which indicate that at least its earliest adopters are fairly active. Users save, on average, 12.5 items per week, and conversions are “orders of magnitude” higher than the industry average of 2%-3% (which Wantworthy tracks via its current affiliate model). The top products saved tend to be apparel, accessories, home goods, and beauty products, which also speaks to a certain kind of shopper – yes, generally women.
With the additional funding, the focus will be on developing the new features sooner than later, through the additional of two or three more engineers.
Pinterest launched in 2010, but it didn’t start gaining traction until late last year thanks to its addictive nature. It eventually became the third-most popular social network after Facebook and Twitter in April.
During this entire period, Pinterest has been invite-only. It was fairly easy to score an invite, but any service that limits immediate signups might lose some users because of it. No more. The site is finally open for anyone who wants to sign up, most likely because it trusts its infrastructure to support large groups of signups on any given day. Pinterest is built on top of Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud, which has been mostly reliable minus a wide-spread EC2 outage in late June.
Pinterest is so popular it even has tons of clone sites trying to take its concept of pinning photos and products by adding a twist. The concept is so pervasive there are even two “Pinterest for Porn” sites, Snatchly and Sex.com.
San Francisco-based Pinterest has raised $138 million to date, including a $100 million mega-round led by Japanese web retailer Rakuten. Other investors include Andreessen Horowitz, Bessemer Venture Partners, and FirstMark Capital.
Filed under: social