Pinterest will change search and discovery forever

It is becoming clear, at least to this analyst, that February 2012 will be remembered as the time when Pinterest began to overhaul the process of search and discovery. Of course Pinterest isn’t just about content search & discovery, but search & discovery of just about everything.


IMS research: excellence in market intelligneceIt is becoming clear, at least to this analyst, that February 2012 will be remembered as the time when Pinterest began to overhaul the process of search and discovery. Of course Pinterest isn’t just about content search & discovery, but search & discovery of just about everything.

It is also becoming quite clear that for a significant market segment … possibly even a whole generation, Pinterest will become a key channel of premium content discovery, recommendation, and curation.

It’s hard to describe the effect, mainly because nobody understands quite yet how it will work and how Pinterest itself will hone the process over the coming months and years. All I know as an analyst at this moment is that this is not a fad, it is real, and it will change how many people discover many products and services. I know that the medium is extremely visual and is based almost completely on compelling images that represent value propositions. For video, this genre of promotion is a well understood commercial art form that includes everything from movie posters to DVD cases. This same kind of image-based search and navigation is already part of the next generation of pay-TV user interfaces.

Tellingly, Trey Ratcliff, the immensely popular landscape and travel photographer whose images are instantly compelling recently posted that Pinterest was already driving 15% of his site’s total web traffic – which is about 230,000 unique visitors per day. ( There is no reason to think that the same won’t soon be true for premium video content as well, assuming that content creators can create compelling “posters” for their work.

Therefore, it will behoove content aggregators to begin building smooth integration with Pinterest now. How easy is it for your users to go from their pin of “New Girl” to recording the series on their DVR?

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