Pinterest continues its surge as it grows in the Asia Pacific region. The site has attracted millions of users in New Zealand, Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong. The site faces a large host of competitors internationally, including a recently launched Chinese clone from Renren. The site seems to be surpassing all expectations — when will the growth taper off?
The numbers that have been racing around the web are provided by Experian Hitwise, who’ve tracked various statistics related to Pinterest and its growth. A recent post showed that the site had grown from 57,000 visits a month to over 1 million a month between March and October of 2011. The engagement time has also increased, as “January 2012 also represented a peak in average visit session time for Pinterest, with the average visit lasting 14 minutes 38 seconds, up from 8 minutes and 33 seconds in March 2011.”
The numbers in Australia alone show Pinterest doubling its traffic to nearly 400,000 visits per week. Will this growth continue in the face of challengers? Like another recent success story, Groupon, Pinterest is a service that is easily imitable, and that threatens the core of the service. Especially as they move into International markets, we’ll see that they’ll be competing with services who have copied their idea for the local market.
In Groupon’s example, it is yet to be determined how much effect that has had on sales, but Groupon has continued to innovate and improve its sales force and has therefore kept its position as king of the hill. That said, an early clone, Living Social (who pivoted from an earlier advertising based business), has made a strong runner up by quickly copying and applying creativity to develop innovative models of their own.
We’ll no doubt see this in the Pinterest wars of 2012, and a good litmus test of Pinterest’s success will be its adoption rate in foreign countries against clones.