Internet Social Media

Why Pinterest Could Point To the End Of Twitter (Opinion)

Christian Cawley 16-03-2012

Why Pinterest Could Point To the End Of Twitter (Opinion) muo pinterest introYou’ve probably heard of the new social bookmarking experience Pinterest – but are you aware of just how it can change the current landscape of the Internet?


As things stand, large companies like Google and Facebook are cosying up to their users, intent on becoming a fixture of the World Wide Web and being de facto choices for users for search and social networking. Google is even keen on moving into the social side via Google+, although this is really little more than a competent exercise in data mining.

Traditional social bookmarking services such as Digg and the dominant method of sharing links, Twitter, are both at risk from the polished presentation and simple features of Pinterest. In fact, Twitter could be seriously at risk from this new service.

Pinterest is More Powerful Than Digg

Many websites continue to rely on the tried and tested success of services such as Digg, Reddit and Stumbleupon, useful online services that allow web surfers to find and share websites and articles that interest them. These services overcome the need for a desktop-based list of favorite bookmarks, instead centralizing the user’s preferred online destinations into a web-based index.

Why Pinterest Could Point To the End Of Twitter (Opinion) muo pinterest screen

Naturally the websites that feature buttons for these services benefit, resulting in some powerful results – Digg, Reddit and Stumbleupon are all capable of sending an article from a brand new blog into the stratosphere if enough people notice and share it.


Yet these services are very Web 1.0, designed for a time before smartphones and tablets. Pinterest’s pleasing user interface immediately casts a stone against the old school Digg.

Pinterest Is Not Another Google+

You may well be aware of Google+, the social circle tool launched by the search giant in 2011 that was touted as a challenger to the social networking crown of Facebook.

Why Pinterest Could Point To the End Of Twitter (Opinion) muo pinterest google

As things have turned out, so far Google+ is running in the social networking “damp squib” league, pushed by “on the pulse” techies as a solution to the all-encompassing devilry of Facebook but failing to add anything particularly new or compelling.


Google+ is little more than a trendy diversion, and I reckon Google knows this; once they’ve got your personals bagged and tagged there is no longer any need to use Google+. Cynical, yes; but then this is Google we’re talking about.

Pinterest requires little in the way of personal information. While Facebook is one option for signing up, this can be removed after your account is created and is really only provided to enable you to share the Pinterest wonder among your Facebook friends.

So What Is Pinterest?

It might sound a little pretentious, but Pinterest is the ultimate means of expressing your appreciation for a website or article, a vehicle for sharing, commenting and simply “liking” something that a friend or contact has shared.

Comment on shared pins with Pinterest


Like the Facebook share function in microcosm, Pinterest allows the reader to make his or her own decision about whether the item deserves further sharing. Interesting Pinners gain new followers as their favored links are shared, but there is none of the data mining that takes place on Facebook or Google Plus. The use of a Facebook or Twitter login to access Pinterest means that this new service can transcend both of its forebears, riding on their coat tails to gain a foothold – something that shouldn’t take long.

Ultimately Pinterest goes beyond social networking. This is a living, breathing collection of bookmarks and recommended links for you to share with people with the same interests as you. There’s no compulsion to use it, no demands that you sign in and stay in touch with people.

How Pinterest Evolves Social Bookmarking

With its wide, scrollable layout Pinterest is ideal for desktops, laptops and tablets alike, superseding the link sharing ability of Twitter by providing a preview image of the page being shared.

There is a lot more going on here than single, when-you’re-ready-to-read Tweets and web page shares. Pinterest displays a full page of items that friends have pinned, a page that keeps on growing as you scroll down, much like the Facebook or Twitter time lines. These items are presented in such a way that they present an evolution of the social bookmarking concept.


Pinterest vs Twitter - no contest

While there is no means to leave a status message or similar, there is no need. Pinterest allows the user to express themselves in links. It is fast, effective and compelling and should soon prove a serious competitor to existing social bookmarking tools. Twitter in particular should be watching its back – a small number of power users on that network apparently originate over half of the links that are shared on the network. What’s more, Pinterest doesn’t require third party apps to make it more interesting. The user interface is perfect for many different types of device.

Although Facebook and Google+ might be able to overcome a downturn in link sharing among contacts, Twitter is certainly vulnerable; in comparison it is little more than a drab list. Meanwhile Pinterest is likely to become a preferred tool among those that don’t feel comfortable sharing their life story with Facebook.

Don’t think it could happen? A quick look at MySpace proves that the biggest online giants can crumble, often by making just one wrong decision.

Related topics: Photo Sharing, Pinterest.

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  1. Nikki
    May 24, 2012 at 3:14 am

    I don't think this will replace twitter...or any other site for that matter. I use pinterest and twitter both, while I do agree that pinterest is a slightly better way to share photos, videos, & etc. That is not the basis of twitter. Twitter was able to connect people like no other social networking site has before. Pinterest cannot replace this.

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  3. Ken
    April 5, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    The fact that Pinterest required me (after getting an invite) to supply either a Facebook or Twitter login makes it absolutely a non-starter. Right there I discount the possibility of ever signing up for it, because they're trying to datamine me upfront, before I even start using the site. It isn't to help find your friends, it's for the single and sole purpose of being evil.

  4. John
    March 22, 2012 at 4:35 pm

    You make an interesting point, Christian. I see Pinterest an even more simplified version of Twitter, because you cannot post a status message, but you can share a bunch of useful stuff with like-minded individuals.

    And you're right about Google +; only SEO fanatics use it. I raise my glass to Pinterest and with it good-luck! Regards, John

  5. Jen
    March 19, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Your thesis doesn't make sense to me. You call out Pinterest as a successor to Twitter, classifying both as a "link sharing" network. While Pinterest most definitely falls into that category I think link sharing is only a small part of what Twitter is used for. Furthermore just in that use case there are many situations where link sharing on Twitter makes more sense that Pinterest (i.e. time sensitive announcements).

    *Full disclosure: I am active user on both Twitter and Pinterest. I like them equally, but for very different purposes.

    • Christian Cawley
      March 26, 2012 at 8:26 pm

      You're probably looking at it in the wrong way then - my argument is that Pinterest is far more user friendly than Twitter, and can appeal to "standard" users rather than early adopters.

      Hardcore users of the web and technology tend to ignore that fact that the rest of the world look at things in a different way. Twitter is great, don't get me wrong - I use it extensively across several accounts and websites - but in its current form it isn't going to survive long term when one (perhaps two) of its primary uses has been so easily revised by Pinterest.

      • Jen
        March 26, 2012 at 8:31 pm

        It makes even less sense with your "clarification". I can post a link to ANY website on Twitter, with commentary. Pinterest is limited to page with photos (and going a layer further... photos that Pinterest is "allowed" to post).

        I know both casual and "hardcore" users of the web - all of whom observe that there are big differences between the sites and their use cases. Pinterest isn't a Twitter clone and it doesn't attempt to replicate much of that functionality. It doesn't seem to even be a goal of the company to replace Twitter.

        • Pinstamatic
          April 11, 2012 at 5:16 pm

          Hey Jen

          Take a look at Pinstamatic [NO LONGER AVAILABLE] that allows you to post any website, as well as stickies, dates, locations etc.

          All the best

  6. suzalele
    March 19, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Am I missing something? I subscribed to pinterest ages ago, but never use it. I don't care what my friends are looking at. Who has the time to check out what they like? I only check facebook once a week too. I am not antisocial; just marching to my own beat..

  7. Andy
    March 17, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Pinterest will only take off properly when you can pin any webpage. Atm it is not allowing me to pin at least a third of the sites I like. Plus, you can't embed boards on your blog.

    So my evaluation of it is as follows: its a good site with plenty of potential, but in its current format its very much a beta with a long way to go before it can even try to challenge Twitter.

  8. John Stewart
    March 17, 2012 at 7:10 pm

    Interesting but I happen to see a lot of benefits from Google+. Thanks for an article that has us thinking

  9. iPinterest
    March 17, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    I can remember several years ago when Digg exploded. I was one of the early users and at one time even ranked in the top 25 most followed users. Then things changed and people got to scamming it, for a lack of better way of putting it. They did any and every thing to get they submissions ranked on the top pages. Due to this, it wasn't long before interest in it started to decline. I'm anxious to hear if you see this happening to Pinterest?

    You can follow my Pinterest blog at

  10. Chase Mann
    March 17, 2012 at 1:03 pm

    You had me up until you derided Google+ ... you need to learn more about it and actually use it and see the SEO benefits for businesses.

    You can leave twitter and facebook to family, friends and groups ... but use Google+ as your best alternative Magazine+Newspaper+Yellowpages hybrid.

    • Christian Cawley
      March 17, 2012 at 1:09 pm

      But that's the point, isn't it? Google+ was/is marketed as an alternative to FB when it is nothing of the sort. Your mum, sister, brother, barkeep and local doctor don't use Google+, people who have no interest in SEO (99% of the population) don't use it... it's little more than extra indexing for Google to use, yet another one of their own services to choke up the SERP.

      Family, friends and groups are what the web is about, not businesses.

  11. KWH
    March 17, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Anybody remember like 8 years ago when was the same exact thing without the pleasing interface and graphics?

  12. Debra Beshears
    March 17, 2012 at 8:45 am

    I just recently discovered Pinterest. I love it! I am fast becoming addicted. I use StumbleUpon to channel surf the web and Pinterest to keep track of my favorite stuff.

  13. Alae Hatoum
    March 17, 2012 at 6:41 am

    I Have been thinking about that and I have noticed a shift in my sharing habits ... Pinterest has become a middle man in a sense that what I do when I find something I want to share is that I share it on pinterest then tweet my pin from there .

    Pinterest is also working pretty awesome as a bookmarking service and just how natural it feels is really a huge selling point for me and many I have sent invites to , the fact that you need very little input to pin stuff is awesome . I see it overtaking twitter and unless twitter adapts itself into a different or modified player that could fit in this new lineup

    • Christian Cawley
      March 17, 2012 at 8:38 am

      Must agree, Alae, and I think the way in which Pinterest allows people to display what they've pinned and share - plus the integration with Facebook and Twitter - sets it above and beyond other services.

      I've run a couple of test pins recently on a couple of my blogs and had very interesting results...

  14. Bob Smith
    March 17, 2012 at 5:58 am

    I get more hits via pinterest than twitter, since day one. Plus, it's easy to use with it's bookmarklet. In twitter, you can't tell by the text in tweets of what's interesting, you have to read through them and click on the link to see where they lead to.

    Twitter would make a nice feed reader, if they dare implement it.

  15. Mohammed Anzil
    March 17, 2012 at 5:47 am

    I don't think so.Because Twitter have a good plat form.I agree that Pinterest is a growing.But this not the time to compare to Twitter.Twitter is very much different from Pinterest.But in this way Pinterest grows it will be really challenged to Facebook.Twitter is a current update version of the world.It's feature is 'What's happening now'.......................

  16. Shobhit
    March 17, 2012 at 5:40 am

    Please send me an invite on

  17. Devinder
    March 17, 2012 at 5:10 am

    Pinterest and Twitter as such have no similarities but in context to referral traffic generation Pinterest is is definitely better than Twitter.

    I have wrote a post about it few days back.

    I am sure you will get a better picture of why PInterest will overtake twitter after reading my post.

  18. darkfast
    March 17, 2012 at 4:50 am

    this reads like an article that is supposed to back up an attention grabbing headline, but doesn't. i can "point to the end of twitter..." watch this: 'my opinion is that twitter will end. someday." see, i just did. so will the author of this 'article' end someday. this is not an articlei can makeuseof.

    • Christian Cawley
      March 17, 2012 at 8:37 am

      Hi Darkfast - in a way you already have made use of this article. You've responded to it (thank you!) although I suspect you've missed the part in the title that says "(Opinion)"...

  19. saugat adhikari
    March 17, 2012 at 4:41 am

    I don't see any relation of pin interest with twitter. In fact I don't think anything that can replace twitter currently. But I believe pin interest can be replacement for social bookmarking website like digg, delicious.