Will The New Growing Social Network Pinterest Excite Asian Users?

Pinterest is growing in popularity. The “online pinboard” received 11 million total visits last week alone — up 70 times the traffic numbers in January 2011 as reported recently by Experian Hitwise. The two-year old social networking site seems to be standing out amongst the crowd, but will it excite Asian users?

Pinterest is an online pinboard that lets you share and showcase what you love.

In terms of demographic, the Pinterest audience is dominated by females, with 58% of young to middle aged users being female. 59% of Pinterest users is in the 25-44 year old demographic.  Boomers and Boomerangs are the group most likely to use the site, with baby boomers and young adults likely to be the generations who spend most of their time on house, garden, sports, fitness, and family-oriented websites.

Google+, Tumblr and other social networking sites also saw great growth this year, although the concept of Pinterest is something a bit different from other social networking services, particularly the ability to “pin” interesting contents on the web on your virtual pinboard.

With Pinterest, users can upload content in various formats such as pictures and videos, and “pin” these to let people discover and likewise pin (or share) it to their pinboard. “Pinboard” and “pin” are the keywords here, much like Google’s trademark “+1,” Twitter’s “Tweet,” or Facebook’s “Like.”

The idea behind this service is connecting everyone in the world through shared tastes and the things that users find interesting. For instance, if we plan to buy a device like a smartphone or tablet, Pinterest will let us search for pins relevant to the topic. Users can then pin these finds for later reference, which can help in deciding on a purchase.

What other things we can do with Pinterest? Well, like any other social networking sites, we can give “Like” status in the pins that we love, share it with others and write comments. Pinterest says the possibilities are diverse: we can have plenty of things to do such as plan a wedding, decorate our home, document our recipes, and share our pictures.

Will it get enough interest?

Based on poll conducted by Forrester Research in the second and third quarters of 2011, Internet users in the emerging markets, especially Asians, are often enthusiastic adopters of social media with 93% accessing and using their social media accounts once or more a month. The same report has shown that these social media users tend to be creators rather than merely consumers, with more than 75 percent of total users publishing websites and blog, uploading video and music, and posting stories once or more a month.

Usage across the Asia Pacific region continues to increase rapidly. Several countries in Asia are some of the most avid users of social networking in the world including the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia, with each having more than 95 percent of their online population actively accessing social networking sites during the month.

Social networks now capture more time than e-mail, news, games and entertainment activities online, with Instant messaging being the only online activity more engaging than social networking in the region. In several markets, visitors are spending more than four hours a month on social networking sites including in the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, and New Zealand. From various researches and reports, most of Asians tend to prefer visual-based social networks rather than text-based networks.

For those who want to try out Pinterest, the service is still in the beta stage. Access can be requested from their website, or via invitation from existing members. There is no limit set for total number of invitations, hence it’s easy for people to invite others as many they want. Pinterest is likewise accessible through the mobile site, and native apps are already available for the iOS and Android platforms.