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Pinterest is definitely one of the big digital marketing success stories of the past few years and most brands have finally recognised the site’s potential for driving both traffic and sales.
The reason for Pinterest's impressive referral stats is at least partly attributable to its page design, as the pinboards allow users to to window shop and pick out attractive products that they want to buy.
The affect on users is so dramatic that last week we blogged a number of cases studies which indicate that Pinterest drives more sales than Facebook.
So it’s no coincidence that a number of major brands have used a Pinterest-style design recently when overhauling their websites.
Now we're not saying that Pinterest invented the image-focused layout, but it definitely helped to popularise it as an alternative to a traditional linear timeline of content.
And here are some of the most high profile examples. If you think we’ve missed any then please point them out in the comments...
In October eBay completely redesigned its site to place a greater emphasis on product discovery, for which the best design they could come up with was a Pinterest inspired design.
It even allows users to create a product feed and follow other feeds. Sound familiar?
The once-mighty social network has tried everything to try and grab another shot at the big time, Facebook and Twitter integration, a celebrity backer, a new connected TV partnership with Panasonic and a new MySpace music player.
That all failed, but MySpace still had one trick left up its sleeve: a Pinteresting redesign.
Even the daddy of social networking isn’t immune to Pinterest’s charms, although that should be no surprise as Facebook has a long history of trying, and generally failing, to take inspiration from its rivals’ products.
Facebook’s Pinterest influence comes in the form of its new ‘Collections’ feature that allows users to collate product images from brand pages and share the collection with friends.
Collections was rolled out in Beta earlier this month in partnership with seven US retailers and is currently offline awaiting a full launch.
It’s Facebook’s attempt to conquer e-commerce by incorporating ‘Collect’ and ‘Want’ buttons instead of the more ambiguous ‘like’.
So Pinterest can either start fretting that Facebook is about to eat its lunch, or, more likely, sit back and watch Facebook make a hash of Collections then quietly kill it in a few months time.
In December last year Quora stepped away from its usual Q&A format by launching a new ‘Boards’ feature that allows user to collect and organise web content into different topics.
Users can also follow other boards to receive updates into their feeds.
Quora announced at the time that it was designed to help connect users with everything they wanted to know about, so it seems like another endorsement for Pinterest’s content discovery model.
In fairness it’s likely that the pinboard-style Tumblr themes actually pre-date Pinterest, however it does seem that more brands have started using the layout since Pinterest’s rapid rise to popularity.
My recent post idenfifying 10 brands making great use of Tumblr shows that Vans, Calvin Klein and Adidas have all set up accounts in the past 12 months that use a layout similar to Pinterest.
Though Little Monsters is still a very niche site, it’s fair to say that Lady Gaga is a major global brand.
And when Gaga decided to add a social network to her expanding business portfolio, it’s obvious to see where she looked for inspiration.