Sign up FAST! Login

Pinterest's biggest problem: People don't talk with each other.

Stashed in: Conversations, User Generated Content, Twitter!, Facebook!, Best PandaWhale Posts, Social Media, Community, Awesome, Commerce, Personalization, Pinterest

To save this post, select a stash from drop-down menu or type in a new one:

Note how little green there is in the graphic above.

"Without conversation, it will be tough for Pinterest to retain its users over time," says TBG Digital's analyst Ben Hovaness.

I totally agree.

And here I thought their biggest problem was the gender differential.

Successful social networks don't have such lopsided gender audiences.


Great point. Never thought of that. It's a photographic archipelago.

"Photographic archipelago" is a ridiculously good metaphor for Pinterest.

Mind you, most Tumblrs don't have comments either, and it doesn't seem to be hurting them.

"The problem with Piniterest or Facebook is that you can ‘like’ or ‘pin’ everything with the same casual action." (JWT North America CEO David Eastman)

Jeff Turner in Of Pinterest and the Importance of Quality Conversations nails it:

The Facebook personal stream encourages surface level conversations. Likes, a quick, “This is awesome” comment, etc. Many have talked about this as a flaw in their network. You can see a big difference in Facebook groups, which are their own communities, their own subgroups. The conversations in those sub-groups are often much deeper.

As Drew Meyers said, “Eventually, thought leaders will find a next platform where they can have better discussions, less noise and better UI, and the masses will follow over time.”

This is profound.

Hey Adam, but can't Pinterest users "comment" on each other's pins and have conversations around those pictures? I've seen it happen.

They can, but as the infographic above shows, they don't.

Note how little green (commenting) there is, compared with red and blue (likes and repinning)...


1. There's no way to "give" a pin to another user.

2. There's no way to send another user a private message on Pinterest.

That will probably change in the future

Yes, it will probably change -- but 18 months later, it still hasn't!

You mean a certain sense of connection that can only come with commenting or some level of communication?

Yes, Kamal, that's what I mean.

There's something about interaction that creates deeper connections.

Do you think the lack of conversation has something to do with the UI "pin board style"... We are using that for our unit pages on ArmedZilla. In my opinion it is not the most "promoting" of conversation.. rather promoting of posting content... which for Pinterest is what they are wanting to do right????

Right, but the "pin board" is a variation on a Facebook Wall, and Facebook Walls did promote conversation.

This is why there are so many subtle tradeoffs in design.

Pinterest should let users sell new and used items, that will start a conversation and make money.

Shayn, I concur.

Pinterest began its life as a mobile shopping mall called Tote, and I believe the desire for browsing and purchasing products directly is baked into the DNA of Pinterest's holding company, Cold Brew Labs.

Well there you go, no time like the present :)

Shayn, I like how you think.

First, Pinterest needs to catch up with its explosive growth because right now the site is slow:

Then, they can take advantage of the fact that 21% of Pinterest users have bought something they found on Pinterest:

Thanks for your kind words Adam.

Yeah, in 08 mobile shopping was way early. People are definitely more receptive now. I hope they innovate soon because damn, they've got it going on... . The timing couldn't be better.

You make another excellent point, Shayn.

And besides Etsy, Gilt, and Fab, is anyone really innovating in personalized shopping?

Right! I'd like to see trade, buy, & sell. Have you seen the personal stylists like stitchfix? On a smaller scale, these guys are pretty cool.

I had not seen Stitchfix so thank you for the link, Shayn.

When you say "trade, buy, and sell" it sounds to me like eBay, Amazon, and Craigslist need to be reinvented for 2012 and beyond. Maybe by themselves; maybe by startups. But ecommerce has not evolved much since Web 1.0 and Amazon's big innovations have been Prime and Kindle, not the shopping experience.

good input. i only share and do not comment as much

18 months later, Pinterest is still mainly for sharing, not commenting.

There's a little bubble where you mouse to send a message when you send a pin to someone.  So you write someone and all they get is the picture.  Why do they have that service when it's unworkable?

Good question, Susan. It's probably a feature that did not get well thought through.

They'll hopefully improve that sometime in the near future.

You May Also Like: