SO MONDAY

September 8, 2014

Apple ramps up iCloud security after celebrity photo hack

The company will now alert iCloud users whenever someone tries to change their account password, restore data stored on iCloud to a different device or logs into the account for the first time.

While Apple already notifies users of password changes or first-time logins, this is the first time it will send notifications about iCloud data. Users will receive both email and push notifications.

The changes will affect iPad, iPhone and Mac users.

Hello! launches monthly fashion magazine

The first issue of Hello! Fashion Monthly (HFM) were distributed free at large shopping centres this weekend, as well as at London Underground and mainline stations, this morning; 8 September.

The standalone magazine is aimed at 18-35 year-old women who are interested in fashion but do not have the time to invest reading the traditional high-end fashion magazines.

The first paid-for issue will be available from 30 September and will be priced at £1 and the 12-day print deadline will allow it to offer more up-to-date news and fashion content in contrast to many competitor monthly titles.

Each issue will contain latest high-street offerings alongside catwalk trends, style and beauty tips alongside interviews with designers and industry figures. The title will also have a mobile version for smartphones and tablets as well as a new hellofashion.com website.

Ikea parodies Apple’s iPad for launch of 2015 ‘Bookbook’ catalogue

With the iPhone 6 just about to launch, that means it’s only approximately 52 weeks until the iPhone 7 launches! IKEA have taken to the stage to launch their 2015 Catalogue just as if it was the world’s best gadget, in a complete Apple Spoof, filming the explanation of how their catalogue was engineered to perfection… Including classic language like ‘tactile touch technology’, ‘eternal battery life’ and ‘crystal clear pages load instantly with zero lag’. Watch their video here.

Sky’s Now TV arrives on Chromecast

Sky’s Now TV service has arrived on Google Chromecast, giving users access to a range of Sky films, live sport and 13 pay TV channels on their main TV screen. Now TV customers with the Entertainment Month Pass will also have access to ITV’s brand new channel, ITV Encore, which launched in June.

70% of smartphone users check device before getting up

70% of UK smartphone users frequently check their device before getting up in the morning, according to research from digital market research and tech company Toluna. Using a sample size of 1,000 Brits, the survey revealed that in addition to checking their mobile first thing in the morning, 32% look at their device if they wake up in the middle of the night, while 58% do so immediately before going to sleep.

The Latest on Facebook Video

Video is one of the most engaging and immersive ways to tell a story so to prove to advertisers and the world that it’s not just YouTube that has massive video engagement online, Facebook announced it now delivers 1 billion video views per day and will begin showing everyone view counts on videos posted by Pages and public figures. When people see high view counts, it can reassure them a video is worth their time.

65% of Facebook’s video views are coming from mobile where Facebook’s user base is shifting, and views grew 50 percent from May to July, in part thanks to the viral ALS ice bucket challenge finding a home on Facebook.

Facebook is also letting video publishers include a “call-to-action” link that viewers can click at the end of a video, push them to another video or to a website for example.

Pinterest’s Chrome Extension lets you decorate your new tabs

Pinterest wants to insert itself further into its users’ every day. The company has rolled out today a new way to jazz up your Google Chrome web browser with a little bit of “inspirational” imagery. With its second Chrome extension, Pinterest can now insert a full-colour Pin onto your New Tab page. Pinterest is using professional quality, high-res images from a variety of sites, including art-collecting and education resource Artsy, photo community 500px, and National Geographic’s photo community Your Shot In addition to the full-screen photo, the new extension will also include a small calendar on the bottom-left, a clock in the middle, and a greeting.

KLM: Live High Five

Last week KLM connected hundreds of people in Amsterdam and New York live, through high fives. For one day, two interactive installations provided a live look through across the ocean. This created spontaneous interactions, letting people on the street come face to face with another citizen from New York or Amsterdam. Whoever could achieve the “perfect” high five with their counterpart across the Atlantic was rewarded with KLM tickets to the other city.

SO MOnday Fun: Simpsons ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

SO MONDAY

April 28, 2014

@SummerBreak; reality TV aired exclusively on social media

Summer Break aired entirely on social media over 10 weeks across TwitterTumblrInstagram and YouTube. The show followed the lives of eight LA teens in their last summer together before leaving for college.  While fans are used to following the daily lives of their favourite celebrities, releasing entire storylines and thickening plots exclusively on social media is a completely unique viewing experience and turns the idea of what a reality show can be on its head.

From an audience’s perspective, an online show is ideal. It’s non-committal, but there’s always something new when fans refresh their streams. From a production standpoint, this innovative format removes the traditional multi-month lag in most production and distribution cycles. The series can also be readjusted and calibrated in real time based on analytics of which characters and storylines are resonating the most with the audience.

@SummerBreak cast members & their Twitter Handles

@SummerBreak cast members & their Twitter Handles

@SummerBreak ditched conventional 30 and 60 minute TV formats, and instead played out a 24/7 stream of tweets, photos and video content. Additionally, 60-second daily YouTube webisodes were posted, with weekly longer form wrap-ups from 3 to 15 minutes.

Casting has begun for the second series of the show and is expanding onto both Snapchat & Vine. This is due to the first season generating 10 million “engagements,” which encompass viewers reacting in tangible fashion, such as an outreach on Twitter or a “share” of some sort.  Data provided by AT&T last year said consumers viewed @SummerBreak content 644 million times by accessing Twitter feeds of the show, the sponsor, the cast, influencers affiliated with the show and sponsored hashtags; Tumblr; YouTube channels; AT&T’s Facebook page; advertising around the show; and social-media conversations.

FB Newswire

Facebook has joined forces with News Corp-owned Storyful to launch FB Newswire, which aims to make it easier for journalists and newsrooms to “find, share and embed newsworthy content from Facebook” in their work. It’s clear that this development is to make Facebook not only become your digital newspaper but compete with Twitter in the realm of breaking news. Subscribing to the newswire is easy; simply like the FB Newswire Page, and those stories will appear in your News Feed.

Google+ updates ads

Google+ has made three updates to its ad offering. Firstly, +Post ads, which turn G+ content into display ads, are now available to all pages with 1,000 followers or more. Secondly, brands can now choose to automatically promote their most recent update and only pay once it receives engagement. Finally, it is possible to promote a Hangout to a +Post ad, allowing users to either RSVP, watch live or watch a recording.

Esquire premieres show on Facebook

Esquire TV has premiered the first episode of its new US programme ‘Lucky Bastards’ through Facebook. The series, which follows six rich entrepreneurs around New York City, was broken up into three parts for Facebook users to watch. Watch them here: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. The actual content is questionable, but the strategic thought of premiering on Facebook has been tactically deployed for their target audience.

Netflix to become real TV and get its own ‘TV channel’ 

Netflix announced on Friday that it has reached an agreement with three cable TV companies to make watching Netflix as easy as changing the channel.

The deal will add Netflix as an app to certain set-top boxes giving subscribers of those companies the ability to watch the Netflix content they would otherwise be able to get only on their PCs, tablets, and phones, or with a third-party set-top box.

The agreement is part of a much larger trend in which traditional television is merging with internet video services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant Video. Just this week, HBO unveiled an unprecedented partnership with Amazon to offer unlimited streaming of its older series on Prime Instant. Meanwhile, Amazon has just released its own set-top box, Fire TV, which allows users to stream shows onto their televisions from Netflix, Prime Instant, and other services.

Pinterest launches Guided Search to navigate you through its 30 billion pins

Pinterest launched Guided Search on Thursday, a new mobile-first tool that taps into Pinterest’s massive user collection to bring the things you’re really looking for right to the forefront.

Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann claims that about 75% of Pinterest’s traffic now comes from mobile devices, so a truly mobile-first search tool is essential to the visual bookmarking site’s future. Pinterest is massive. The site now hosts some 30 billion pins, nearly half of which, it says, were created in the last six months alone. The feature is aimed at users who do not yet know exactly what they are searching for, but are rather exploring options. It’s incredible powerful and also very simple. Check out how it works here.

Guided search signposts a slow, gradual shift in Pinterest’s broader mission. Where it was once about collecting, Pinterest now focused is helping people discover, even when they can’t articulate what it is exactly they’re trying to find.

*This article first appeared on the Guardian Media Network

Image-sharing site’s experimentation with different monetisation models, offers brands new ways to engage with consumers

Last week Pinterest announced that it has raised $225m in investment from venture capital firms, making its valuation rocket to a staggering $3.8bn.

After successfully completing a round of fundraising, Pinterest is exploring how to monetise its picture-sharing format. Photograph: Shutterstock

After successfully completing a round of fundraising, Pinterest is exploring how to monetise its picture-sharing format. Photograph: Shutterstock

But how can a site, which hasn’t yet generated a single penny in revenue, be worth so much?

Forget Tweeting, LinkedIning, Redditing or google+ing, apparently now we’re all too busy pinning for anything else. In fact, in February ComScore reported that Pinterest had reached 48.7m users globally.

But Pinterest’s allure is not only based on the huge audience which it attracts, but also on its great ability to drive this audience to other sites, and therefore proving to be a precious tool for publishers and brands.

The latest data from Shareaholic showed that Pinterest drove 3.68% of traffic to publishers in September, second only to Facebook and more than Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit and Google+ combined.

Another study, conducted by Play.com earlier this month, showed that Pinterest had increased referral traffic to Play.com by 200%, which may explain why the Japanese e-commerce firm, Rakuten became one of Pinterest’s lead investor in a previous funding round.

The social discovery site, in its effort to leverage such a large fan-base and powerful networking potential, has started to try out different monetisation models.

In fact, it has recently struck a deal with Telefonica, (which carries 316m mobile customers), which will see a preloaded Pinterest widget on all new handsets sold in Latin America and Europe.

O2 customers in the UK will be the first to benefit from this exclusive app, providing users with direct access to their personalised Pinterest feed – and giving brands the privileged opportunity to be present on their customers’ most personal device.

Earlier this month, Pinterest went even further, and launched its first foray into paid advertising with “promoted pins”. This move has been a long time coming, as Pinterest tries to monetise the platform to not only prove its value to investors, but to help retailers reach potential customers.

Brands will now be able to insert their own pins into search results and category feeds based on a user’s interest, making the ad relevant and more enticing. Pinterest is currently testing this feature to glean learnings and feedback before launching it to the entire user base.

Specific details surrounding a pricing model for “promoted pins” is yet to be determined and there has been no confirmation as to whether advertising on the platform will expand beyond promoted pins; but brands should start to think about how Pinterest and “promoted pins” can work to amplify their social strategy in the near future.

But why should brands get so excited about Pinterest?

First of all, Pinterest is effective. It uses flow-oriented media, so the information flows to the user in a timely, emergent and engaging manner. Users find it effortless to explore the images and discover products, while brands, through rich pins, can link products directly to their webpage, which features more information and includes current pricing details. Rich pins also show up in search results, enabling the store to determine where a consumer can buy the product they’re looking for.

But even more importantly, brands are able to target a valuable and engaged audience, as the platform attracts people who like shopping and are actively looking for things to buy.

As a result, Pinterest users tend to spend more when they’re referred from the site than Facebook’s, for example.

They’re also interested in what’s hot and see themselves as influencers, so brands can use them to amplify the message and pass it on to other social networks.

In fact, Pinterest works at its best when it is integrated with everything else, widening the brand’s reach and making it easier for consumers to engage at every owned touch-point.

And as for any social platform, it is a great listening tool too, where brands can discover what makes current and potential consumers tick and what might interest them in the future.

As an increasingly highly sophisticated and knowledgeable audience gathers around the platform, brands have to be imaginative and creative in order to make Pinterst work for them. Honda, for example, asked followers to take a “Pintermission” – offering the most active Pinners $500 to go out into the real world for 24 hours and experience some of the things they’d been pinning about. This created a huge buzz and millions were exposed to the #Pintermission boards.

#Pintermission

#Pintermission

So while it is yet to prove profitable, Pinterest, virtually unknown just a couple of years ago, is fast becoming the social platform that brands and retailers can ill afford to ignore.

On October 9th, Pinterest announced their first foray into paid advertising with ‘promoted pins’. This move has been a long time coming as Pinterest tries to monetise the platform to not only prove it’s valuation to current and future investors but help retailers reach potential customers. Brands will now be able to insert their own pins into search results and category feeds based on a user’s interest making the ad relevant and more enticing. Pinterest is currently testing this feature to glean learnigns and feedback before launching to the entire user base in the near future. Specific details surrounding a pricing model for promoted pins is still yet to be determined and there has been no confirmation as to whether advertising on the platform will expand beyond promoted pins but brands can begin to think about how Pinterest and promoted pins can work to amplify their social strategy in the near future.

SO MONDAY

September 23, 2013

Chipotle, ‘Scarecrow’

In a dystopian fantasy world, all food production is controlled by fictional industrial giant Crow Foods. Scarecrows have been displaced from their traditional role of protecting food, and are now servants to the crows and their evil plans to dominate the food system. Dreaming of something better, a lone scarecrow sets out to provide an alternative to the unsustainable processed food from the factory.”

Chipotle is known for its burritos, but few know that chipotle has radically changed fast food: from cooking fresh food daily, to building a supply chain of 7,000+ farmers, to sourcing more local produce and sustainably raised meat than anyone, anywhere.

The Scarecrow is not a piece of television advertising – even if they show it on TV as they did for its predecessor, “Back to The Start” which aired during the 2012 Grammy Awards. It’s a narrative trying to provoke an emotional response which ultimately starts a conversation in the online space. Arguably they went over the top with the sincerity of the message and consequently the conversation has been steered in the completely opposite way due to the below meme.

Phonebloks: The Future Of Smartphones

Phonebloks is based on a simple concept: we waste too much. Often, we throw out whole devices just because one component is broken. As a result, we’re throwing away devices and gadgets at a record rate, all of which with poisonous materials that seep into the environment.

Welcome Phoneblok.

Nokia’s “Thanks, #Apple ;)” most Retweeted Brand Tweet

Wunderman posted a cheeky tweet for our client, Nokia poking fun at its rival Apple. It has gone down as one of the most retweeted brand tweets ever.

Nokia Thank Apple

Nokia Thanks Apple Tweet Becomes most Retweeted Brand Tweet

Nokia’s timely tweet stole the limelight during Apple’s launch event by pointing out the similarity between the newly unveiled iPhone 5s colour phones and its own range of colourful handsets. The tweet which declared “imitation is the best form of flattery’ has already garnered over 39,000 retweets

Pinterest to launch ads

Ben Silbermann, CEO & Co-Founder of Pinterest has announced in a blog post titled ‘Planning for the future’ that Pinterest will “start experimenting with promoting certain pins from a select group of businesses” in order to make sure that “Pinterest is a service that will be here to stay”.

Silbermann has confirmed that the advertising will be ‘tasteful, transparent and relevant’ using promoted pins rather than banner ads. Pinterest is the perfect platform for advertising as users already share branded content across the site.

Facebook increases ad image size

Facebook has increased the size of its page post link ads and page like ads in the newsfeed for both desktop and mobile. The larger images help drive engagement and performance as they are more visually engaging to users.

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Facebook has made the ad specs consistent for all of its ads on both desktop and mobile, meaning advertisers can create ads of different types without needing to send in multiple image sizes.

Londoners help feed pigs using their Smartphones

Over the weekend Londoners were able to support free range farming by taking part in an interactive experience at Westfield shopping centre. In order to promote awareness of the benefits of free range farming in light of the horse meat scandals of late, Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) staged ‘Feed the Pigs’ streamed on a live feed from the farm in Buckinghamshire.

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The concept was people had to donate £1 then they could download the ‘Live Pig Feed’ app. Once downloaded users they had the ability to control the ‘apple launcher’ by flicking their smartphones to trigger the machine to fire out apples to the hungry pigs.

This is a great example of a charity promoting awareness of causes by using interactive experiences that people can get involved with. By ‘gamifying’ the whole process and allowing donators to interact with the Farm, it lets people know what their money has gone towards.

Topshop partnered with Chirp app for London Fashion Week

The high street fashion retailer wanted to be tech savvy for this year’s London Fashion Week (LFW) and so partnered with the file sharing app Chirp which allows users to share files simply by using sound. No longer does your smartphone need Bluetooth or NFC to send files to your friends when you are with them.

‘The clever app converts photos, links and notes into short bursts of digital birdsong-like sound that can be played on your mobile. Anyone else with Chirp is able to listen and receive that data over the airwaves. It’s a bit like Shazam but instead of listening to music it listens out for other Chirps which translate into data.’

Topshop utilised this app for LFW to share exclusive pictures of SS14 looks from backstage as well as photos of the models on the runway showcasing the new collection, all sent via Chirp.  This shows how the fashion retailer has harnessed new technology to create excitement and buzz around LFW for their tech savvy fans, allowing those who aren’t lucky enough to be at the show be involved with the brand and the event.

SO MOnday

February 11, 2013

Abbey Torrance and Lexi Brown round up the best mobile and social news from the past week.

Love is in the mobile air

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, many people will be buying those last minute chocolates or roses in the name of love. Do they go in-store or online? A recent study by a mobile network has revealed that 52% of women would prefer to buy Valentine’s Day presents for their other halves on their Smartphone rather than go in-store. Valentine’s fever must be spreading the country as the Interflora App is currently ranked in the top twenty in the UK app charts.

Consumers shopping behaviour continues to evolve and a new report stated that 37% of PC users have moved their desktop actions to mobile. Three quarters of Facebook traffic is through mobile now and web browsing is increasingly done on mobile than on desktop.

Debenhams Free WiFi is keeping shoppers happy

In June last year Debenhams rolled out free WiFi to all customers in their stores. Eight months in and the retailer has reported that users have been really positive about the service. Men particularly have been enjoying the free WiFi, with the average time spent roaming at 30 minutes, possibly as they wait whilst their other halves peruse the store. It is a great way of keeping customers in store and online, so they can check for additional sizes/colours if they are out of stock in store. The top ten sites that have been visited whilst in Debenhams are:

1.   Facebook

2.   Sky Sports

3.   LiveScore

4.   BBC Sports

5.   YouTube

6.   Yahoo!

7.   Live.com

8.   Instagram

9.   Google

10.  Tumblr

Add content to your chocolate

Cadbury’s Dairy Milk is letting UK customers personalise their chocolate bars as part of its ‘Joyville campaign’. Users can not only add their names, photos and a message but can also add their own selected web content from YouTube Videos to Facebook photos. Users can compose their bar online at the Joyville Made website or via the Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Facebook app and get their chocolate sent by mail directly to the recipient. Perfect for birthdays and Valentine’s Day!

Lego gets Vine

These simple, well thought out and visually enjoyable vines from Lego are the first branded example that has really understood the platform to create some great stop motion animations.

Straight from the Runway

Fashion shows are expanding into interactive online experiences from Topshop’s live stream fashion show on Facebook that allowed users to take screen shots and share content with Facebook friends to Gucci Connect’s E-vent a live stream of the Milan show where the “virtual guests” could chat liveduring the runway show.

adidas 2013

The 2013 Y-3 runway show from Adidas not only had an interactive live stream of the fashion show, but had multiple cameras which would switch between various live shots both on the runway and behind the scenes. By streaming the show with four different views onto the runway, the online audience could magnify one view without losing perspective of the show as a whole – have a look here. Users could also take snaps of the show and instantly pin them on Pinterest. More backstage content was given through Twitter and Facebook as well. It’s a shame that Adidas didn’t close the loop with the ability to let users click to buy but it’s an innovative way to increase their reach.

The popular image-sharing website will need to show its hand if it is to persuade investors it is worth the $2.5bn valuation it is after, says Lexi Brown.

Rumour has it that Pinterest is seeking additional funding to secure a $2.5 billion valuation, despite the fact that it has yet to generate a significant revenue stream. Investors providing the funding are gambling on the ‘potential value’ of Pinterest and it is clear that they have major expectations.

The big question is how will Pinterest actually monetise the platform and grow as a business?

Pinterest’s main strength is its focus around images. It is less limited by language barriers which increases its potential as an international platform. By connecting people with the same interests via images, the commercial potential of group buying or ‘co-buying’ could be huge. Allowing all those who want to purchase the same product to do so collectively will significantly reduce the price for all parties involved.

Pinterest currently has a ‘gifts’ section which it has probably already monetised. It could feature brands or products here, recommend products to users based upon their interests, or go even further and become an e-commerce site in its own right. I would assume that it is already working as an affiliate but there is also the potential to grow this area further.

Pinterest could also have a featured pins / user section, similar to how Twitter features users similar to those you already follow and Google has promoted search results. It could look into ‘sponsored pins’ whereby it shows pins relevant to the keywords you search for or the pins you have posted. It could also insert pin-shaped ads anywhere on the page, similar to how Facebook has ads directly in users’ newsfeeds.

Another potential revenue stream would be to allow users to turn their pinboards into physical scrapbooks. This would work really well for people collecting information and creating look books for their wedding day, redecorating their home or recipes for example.

Pinterest’s main concern is developing an API which not only provides an important point of integration for retailers whilst extending a seamless experience for the consumer, but also allows the developer community to open up the Pinterest ecosystem.

This is a strategy that has worked very well for Facebook and it now has a very strong developer community.

There is potential for Pinterest to monetise itself through a number of strategies, but if it is to meet the expectations of its investors, it will need to show its hand one way or another.

Chances are by now you’ve heard of Pinterest, the’ next big thing’ taking the social media world by storm. The site has been around for a while in the US, but its recent growth in the UK has been absolutely explosive.

The site defines itself as a place to ‘organise and share all the beautiful things you find on the web’. Pinterest is a virtual noticeboard or scrapbook, where users can pin what interests and excites them in different contexts and collections. It is another platform allowing users to express themselves, this time using visual content. And the good news for brands is that users are pinning images of things they lust after, want and desire.

In fact Pinterest is full of good news for brands. The majority of users, 61 per cent, are lucrative ABC1s. More than half the visitors to the site are aged 18-34. It is fairly safe to assume, then, that Pinterest is full of affluent users with a high disposable income and a keen interest in expressing themselves and investing in lovely things. As Russell Davies notes in this piece in Campaign, the stereotypical user is a bride-to-be planning her wedding, creating mood boards showcasing her perfect day. Pinterest is also attracting a substantial amount of users who are looking to redecorate and refurbish their homes and are again creating mood boards and scrapbooks documenting inspiration and their own personal style. Food and fashion are also popular niches. The site allows brands to add prices to each pin – generating a substantial amount of referral traffic and offering real business value from smart use of the platform.

At the moment, there are slightly more female users than male in the UK, although in the US a massive 82 per cent of users are female. ‘If you look at the other sites visited and other interests data for the UK, you see that SEO professionals dominate,’ says Graeme Wood, strategy director at Carat. ‘I’d guess that brands, or people working for brands, make up the majority of Pinterest usage in the UK. Clearly fashion, design and other visually-based professions are making use of the platform, but currently the linkbuilding potential for images is the most valuable usage for brands.’

What Davies also notes is the potential for Pinterest to be used to showcase good taste. Those with an eye for the visual and the ability to sniff out ‘cool stuff’ may be able to utilise that innate sense of style to generate substantial business value for their clients. In fact digital ad agency Work Club is putting this theory to the test by recruiting a creative director through the site. And brands could look to inspire consumers through designing creative and ‘must-have’ visuals to drive interest and sales.

To generate additional visibility, brands can connect with influencers who actively like their products, who in turn will expose their products to new audiences who can re-pin the item to their own board if it appeals to them. This functionality is great for brands launching new products and collections, to get them seen and shared, and offers the tantalising prospect of harnessing the endorsement of users with followers who trust their taste and recommendations. More than 80 per cent of pins are re-pins, according to this analysis of Pinterest by RJMetrics.

 The company itself has kept quiet about its data, but the RJMetrics analysis, which was based upon an analysis of nearly one million pins, noted that the site is retaining and engaging users as much as three times more than Twitter did at this early stage.

But there are still question marks around the site. No UK brands have really begun to dominate the space yet, although in the US Whole Foods, Mashable, Sony Music and Gap have all made their mark using Pinterest.

The biggest danger, however, is that Pinterest will turn into another social network that had its moment to shine but failed to really cash in. The stats show that 23 per cent of Pinterest traffic comes from Facebook, which suggests integrating the site as an app in the new Facebook timeline could have helped to drive the recent spike in growth. Of more concern is the RJMetrics discovery that the quality of new users, whilst high, is declining. Users who joined the site in recent months are two to three times less active during their first month than more established users were during their first month on Pinterest. It could be speculated that the spike in growth comes from users who have heard Pinterest billed as the ‘next big thing’, joined, and found the site wanting. In many ways the rapid growth stage is the most precarious for a new social site. Remember Quora? Exactly.

Stickability is definitely far from established, and there are issues the site needs to iron out, such as the search function that prioritises pins over people. But if brands with online retail sites can harness it, they could see a surge in referral traffic. In fact the brains behind Pinterest might do well to position the site as an affiliate marketer for brands – turning it into a social commerce site rather than just another social network. Michael Roberts, comms planning manager at Carat, says: ‘At a mere two years young Pinterest is now driving more referral traffic than Google Plus, LinkedIn and YouTube combined, with 3.6 per cent of all referral traffic in January 2012 according to Shareaholic blog. To brands looking for visual and curated storytelling opportunities, Pinterest appears to be a substantial and timely place to be.’