So there is a great article here in Tech Crunch that outlines, “The Promise Of Pinterest”.
Their primary suggestion is that Pinterest could turn into a new way to search for products, which would be a massive cultural and financial shift, (away from keyword searches to “key-pic searches”. Or I guess you could call them, “Key Image searches”. (Hey, I just coined those phrases – give me props for that)…Here is a good quote from their article:
As we make a decision to search for or buy something online, we are trained to go to Google (or Amazon), search by keyword, and sort through results to eventually make a transaction. In return for that sorting, Google charges for advertising, but in order for it to work, we users have to signal our intent: “Red Nike running sneakers.” But, how did I decide to want these red running shoes in the first place? While Google makes money at the bottom of this decision funnel, the top of the funnel is where “discovery” happens. It’s much wider at the top of the funnel, and harder to pin down where the thoughts originate (pun intended).”
A site like Pinterest could help bring some of that discovery online. For the red running sneakers, instead of researching them myself, I may instead elect to browse the pinboards of Pinterest users who are dedicated runners. I could find sneakers on a friend’s board and may have reasonable confidence that this pair could suit me, too. In this manner, I may elect to buy the shoes right after seeing my friend’s board on Pinterest and get to a transaction faster.”
Of course the secret sauce that makes this work is the curator phenomenon that is a central part of Pinterest. It’s similar to Wikipedia’s secret sauce in that regard. Curators make content valuable. Too bad Google didn’t figure that out and apply it to it’s image search functionality a long time ago. But then again, they could just buy Pinterest, grow it up like they did with Youtube, and then they’d dominate this new search method. That would be pretty smart. They’d own text search, video search, and image search. Just a thought.