Flipboard – our new obsession!

It was Apple’s iPad App of the year in 2010 and one of Time’s Top 50 Innovations and we love it, it’s changing how we read the news and view our social media. Flipboard is a free app for your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch that calls itself “your (pocket-sized) social magazine”.

Flipboard presents your choice of social networks, news and publications in a magazine style format. The idea is to fill Flipboard with the things you like to read and it then creates a magazine of the bits of the social web that matter to you. You can then flip through the pages of your personal magazine commenting, sharing and saving to read later.

Flipboard has taken the social web and presented it in a gorgeous, glossy readable format. This style of content curation makes the likes of Twitter and Facebook newsfeeds immensely enjoyable to read and all collects it in one place. We predict that content curation will be a significant factor in the coming year for the social web. Flipboard has some big fans here and we’re trying hard to spread the word about what an amazing app it is to use!

Pinterest – The Social Network of 2012?

You may have heard murmurs of a new social network on the block and wondering if it’s worth getting involved. Let me warn you before you do; it’s addictive!

Pinterest – what is it?

Pinterest describes itself as “a virtual pinboard”. It allows you to created themed pinboards of your favourite images and each time you “pin” something new your followers see it, and similar to other social networks they can like it, comment on it or re-pin it. Install the “Pin It” button to your bookmarks bar and every time you’re browsing the internet you can pin any image you see, it really is that easy!

This site feels and looks very different to the other social networks around and is all about sharing really gorgeous and lovely images. It is really refreshing to find a social network that is not attempting to copy anyone else.

Pinterest Figures

The site is only two years old. There are various figures around the internet suggesting Pinterest is the fastest growing social network or it has over so many new users per month, the exact figures are unknown but this table from a recent study by Experian Hitwise suggests that in November 2011 Pinterest had more users than the much better known sites such as Tumblr and Google+.

In addition to that, Pinterest has been much talked about in the last couple of months so it would be reasonable to assume the number of visits and users of the site has increased since this data was acquired.

Why Join?

Aside from the fact it’s a lot of fun and addictive, from a business point of view it’s a good way to develop a brand image. The site is invite only but you can ask for an invite or if you have some social-media-ahead-of-the-game-friends they are probably already members and can send you an invite. Once joined, think about the image you want for your brand, you may want to have a board with pictures of your products but you will probably also want to have boards of cool things your brand would like to associate with or a board of things you think would be funny to potential customers. As with other social media marketing it never looks good to solely promote your brand and nothing else, Pinterest is a great place to develop a wider brand image and personality away from just your logo and products (here is a really good article to help you think about brand image). So have some fun and start pinning – just don’t blame me if you get addicted!