It Might Be One of Your Favorite Websites, but Pinterest Is Failing at Its Primary Goal

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Do you Pinterest? I’ll admit, I was one of those people who struggled to understand what the website was even for. (Everyone else: “You have these boards, and you put pictures of things you like on them.” Me: “What?!”) And though now I’d say I am almost Pinterest-literate, that it has become so incredibly popular — even our governor has a Pinterest page, with boards like “Pictures I Took with My Phone” and “Goals to Move Maryland Forward” — still confuses me.

But whatever you use it for, the bottom line is that Pinterest was made so you can share your purchases with the world, and hopefully they’ll buy that stuff, too. (You probably figured as much — one of the default boards they give you upon signing up is called “Products I Love.”) But a recent study showed that although Pinterest users are 13 times more likely than Twitter and Facebook users to share an item they bought, those shares actually turn into far less revenue for the retailer. This means it might be more difficult to monetize a glorified digital corkboard than was once thought.

Pinterest has done all it can. It’s up to you now. If you really love Pinterest, you gotta buy some stuff. I don’t care if you don’t want it or can’t afford it — this is about the greater good.

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