Crazy Idea – What Pinterest Could Be

Pinterest has received much media attention since earlier this year. Within only a few months, its number of users exploded and Pinterest was suddenly an overnight sensation. The rate of Pinterest adopters has since slowed down, but Pinterest still remains one of the top five social networks on the internet.

Though it is an extremely popular site, I think that it could offer even better things in the future. Similar to how Facebook was simply limited to user profiles when first introduced (imagine what Facebook would be like if it didn’t have a newsfeed now!), Pinterest has room to grow.

Think of how people are using it right now. Primarily, people are using it for inspiration: inspiration for their homes, their wardrobe, their cooking, and their travel. People are sharing these photos and videos solely for ideas. It’s great and fun, but many say that Pinterest is a waste of time and unproductive. Users can click-through links via pinned photos, but sometimes this doesn’t lead them to a useful site, but instead, just a blog that posts similar photos. What if Pinterest could change this and become valuable?

Facebook is for connecting with friends and family. It’s about seeing photographs of loved ones, seeing where your friends are, and catching up with those you haven’t seen in a while. Twitter is about posting what’s happening right now. YouTube is about sharing interesting and funny videos. Google+ is for science/tech geeks. Pinterest is different. It’s purely about photos and videos, but that doesn’t mean it just has to be for inspiration.

I see the future Pinterest as a hub for the internet. Photographs will be more organized  in pre-determined categories, such as clothing, home decor, travel, news, publications, and weather. Useful links and content such as reviews, comments, and suggestions will be placed around “pinned” photographs. It will tie-in major news providers to provide a picture  and video display of what is happening in the world. It will be a way for travelers to share photographs of where they’ve been, including what hotels they’ve stayed at and what restaurants they’ve eaten at. It will be a way for users to not only see photographs of tasty recipes, but see where they can buy the ingredients locally and what the local sales circulars are. It will be a way for a women’s outfit to suggest a list of places where the look can be purchased and what celebrities are currently wearing. Pinterest could become a hub for content and information, not just  pin boards of photographs.

I see the design of the future Pinterest to be something similar in design to Flipboard, one of my favorite tablet apps. Essentially, it ties in RSS feeds from different sources (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and different channels (News, Style, etc.) into one useful interface. This is one of the problems of Pinterest. It’s great to get inspiration, but the current set-up doesn’t provide users much value. With an updated, clean, and easy-to-use design, the new Pinterest will not be completely focused on sharing a photograph, but sharing what the photograph can provide. With better ways of sharing photographs and their value, new interests on the site could explode, especially for news. We saw this with Twitter, and I think we could see this with Pinterest.

This idea is probably a bit “out there”, but I think something similar could happen to Pinterest.  If Pinterest does things right, they really could become something big, and something big unexpectedly. After all, how many of us predicted just how big Facebook would get?

– Bryan Nagy