At first look new kid on the block Pinterest and slightly less new kid on the block Tumblr don’t seem that similar. However they’re more similar than you might think.
And while Tumblr’s growth continues apace in terms of all the key figures when it comes to a social platform, Pinterest is moving just as fast, if not quicker. It feels like a rumble at the trendy end of the social site spectrum might well be in the offing.
Make Room, Coming Through
Alright, suggesting there is going to be a fight between these expanding behemoths of social network cool might be an over statement. There is, it seems, plenty of room for both to exist, they’re different enough and it’s not as if you use one you can’t use the other.
In fact it would be interesting to know the crossover. The likelihood is that using one might actually lead users to getting involved in the other. Either way though there will be a degree competition, it’s inevitable as the demographics are not dissimilar.
There is a significant difference between the sites that must be addressed in any comparison. That is that Tumblr functions essentially as a blog, whereas Pinterest works more as a visual bookmarking tool. These roles are how the sites were designed, yet when it comes to how members use them the differences are far less obvious than one might think.
People use Tumblr like Pinterest. They create a very visual collection of inspirational images that are presented in blog format or collectively by month in the archive view. In fact 42% of all original posts on the site are photographs. These are then extensively ‘reblogged’ a feature that is identical to ‘repinning’ in the Pinterest sphere.
Where the newer site has the edge is that Tumblr has sort of happened on this user trend, whereas Pinterest has been designed for it. It is far simpler to source and add images from the World Wide Web to your collection of Pinterest ‘boards‘. Boards being categorised pinning, think online mood boards and you’re on the right track.And these seems to be what users love, it’s quick and easy.
As far as media sharing platforms go, which is what they are in most simple terms the statistics aren’t really comparable. Pinterest is currently serving over 10 million members with Tumblr trumping that at around the 35 million mark. What is interesting though is that Tumblr has three years on Pinterest and its growth throughout 2010 into 2011 in terms of visits was staggering, 900% globally.
The excitement and snowballing effect that is currently taking hold at Pinterest would suggest that this prime expansion period experienced by Tumblr is yet to befall the site. Meaning that anything is possible in the immediate future, don’t be surprised to see an explosion in ‘pinning’ over the next 12 to 18 months.
Cool Is As Cool Does
Wherever the crown comes to rest one thing is for sure, there is little in the way of social sites that are as cool as these two. And while that is the case for Pinterest and Tumblr it’s going to be about continuing to attract the demographics they already are, while being able to expand in more commercial arenas without compromising the values that have spawned their rapid take up. No easy task for sure.