Pinterest is the next Facebook, but it will be even bigger!
I remember grinning when I heard that statement originally. I gave Pinterest an honest effort for a few months to see if it would drive the traffic like promised to me by the experts. When I went back & pulled the stats on my site over the past few months, Pinterest has sent a total of 22 visits to my site. In comparison, Facebook has sent 847 visitors 312 from Twitter, and 88 from YouTube during that same time period.
I thought maybe it was just me, so I decided to pull some more generalized data of their overall traffic of the site. As you can see below, while the site was one of the fastest growing sites in a long time, it appears as though the growth per month has slowed dramatically and even started to decrease from April to May 2012. Does this mean that Pinterest is about to close up shop? I’d highly doubt that, but what I do believe it shows is that it’s not going to be taking over Facebook any time soon.
I think one of the things that might have been a rather large reason for the slow down in their growth is the legal risks that can be involved with pinning items you don’w have permission to use. This raised major concerns for me from the beginning as I am very well aware of the risks of using a copyrighted image without permission can get you into major legal trouble. I’ll never forget a discussion with a friend where she informed me that using a copyrighted image without permission can result in fines anywhere from $700-$30,000 per use. That right there is more than enough cause to be cautious of using Pinterest.
Don’t get me wrong, I think Pinterest is a great site and can be a ton of fun to use for leisure activities. As for using Pinterest to grow an online business, I don’t really see that value anywhere. My suggestion is to use Pinterest for what it was originally intended for: as a great place to share images and get visual ideas for your personal interests. If you are looking for ways to drive more traffic to a website, I’d suggest trying other means instead of relying on Pinterest as the next “Big” thing to do that.