Monetizing Social Media
April 20, 2012 | By Dan Opallo
A recent TechCrunch article titled "Pinvolve Converts Facebook Pages Into Pinterest Pinboards, Increases Repins By 150%+" looks at how a new Facebook app called 'Pinvolve' allows users and brands to add a Pinterest-style page to their Facebook presence. The app essentially pulls in all photo posts, along with any Comments or Likes. And the crazy thing is that the company that designed it, Bazaart, has been able to increase Repins on its Facebook page by 150% - and so have many of the 1,000 users who have downloaded it.
Typically, when Facebook sees a new social platform as a viable threat to the amount of time people spend on their platform, they do one of two things: buy the startup, or quickly recreate the experience within Facebook before the challenger grows too big.
One fairly successful example of this two-pronged strategy is Facebook's response to Foursquare, where they quickly launched Facebook Places to try and derail Foursquare's rapid growth. Next they bought another competitor Gowalla to further squash any competition.
One example where Facebook was too late to the game was when they tried to cut into the Twitter experience by allowing @mentioning in Facebook status updates. This did little to impact Twitter's growth. They should have bought them when they had the chance!
By supporting the Pinvolve app, it's clear that Facebook recognizes the threat Pinterest poses for stealing audience time away from their platform, which it will if their users cannot get the same experience within Facebook. Interestingly, Google+ also seems to recognize this shortcoming in Facebook's default experience, as they have they have been recently positioning themselves in the media as a social platform for sharing images.