We'll be the first to say it: We love Pinterest. From the moment our editors first got wind of the site when it was just a blip on the Internet's radar to the daily joy of sharing the love through our own R29 account, it's been an office obsession. But as the site spirals up and up, and more and more brands try to find a space amongst the individual users, times are bound to change.
As Business Insider points out, the social site has yet to share how it plans to make money. That's kind of an important thing for a business that's presumably adding employees as fast as it's adding users (28 million visitors come to Pinterest each month). For retailers, the boom of Pinterest (and a source of enormous potential revenue for both parties) is obviously turning shareable images into cold, hard cash: Getting users to pin and repin your products and, eventually, click through to your website and purchase. If Pinterest wants to continue supporting this kind of growth, and continue delivering a great experience to users, it needs to get smart about taking advantage of larger companies' desires — and fast.
The problem? Because so many people use Pinterest for inspiration rather than keeping track of a wish list, there's no distinction between what's actually shop-able and what's just a photo of a blazer from three seasons ago that's now nowhere to be found in the sea of e-commerce. There are more than a handful of savvy start-ups aiming to cash in on that loophole, creating versions of Pinterest that look strikingly similar, but with a more direct goal of what insiders call "discovery commerce." So, just like on Pinterest, you browse around for any image that catches your eye — but, in the case of most of these competitors, you can pull out your credit card and make the product your own in just a few clicks.
Take a second to read the article after the jump, because this is an important facet of the future of social media. For now, none of these smaller companies are really at a level to compete with Pinterest...yet. Depending on what Pinterest is able to do in this second stage of its development, it may be only a matter of time. (Business Insider)