The latest poster child for social sharing sites is Pinterest, which has seen hockey-stick growth over the past four months and is the topic du jour for discussion on tech blogs. Recent Hitwise statistics have Pinterest among the top 10 social networking sites, and other data suggests Pinterest generates referral traffic that rivals Twitter, topping YouTube, Google Plus, Reddit and LinkedIn combined. People are talking about how Pinterest may have cracked the social shopping nut that Facebook and others have been pursuing for years. Pinterest is just the shiniest example of image sharing sites; everyone seems to be jumping on this bandwagon (see Pinspire, Gentlemint and Tastespotting for the most obvious clones).

Putting aside the accolades and buzz, why are sites like Pinterest so popular? The answer to many is obvious: they’re fun and beautiful, allow you to discover new things, and connect you with people with shared interests (there’s actually a Quora thread on Pinterest growth worth reading). On top of that, they let you find and share cool stuff, beautiful images, products you might want to buy. What could be better?Read More →