Pinterest is hot as hot can be right now. I get about an email a day from a Facebook friend who’s joined the service (nobody seems to be upset that it auto-informs everyone you know that you’ve joined up) and most of those people go on to use it for a while. Sure, they don’t go Pin-crazy overnight, but they have some fun once they get the hang of it — it sure has an easier learning curve than Twitter did.
That’s why the clones are popping up, even in China. The latest is “mulu.me”, which is pretty much a Pinterest for supporting other’s causes, buying stuff as well as goofing around.
The basic essence of the site is that you set up a profile and indicate which charity you want to support. You then post pics of shopping items you like, and if someone clicks your link and buys the product, a percentage of the purchase price goes to the charity. Win-win-win! That said, you don’t have to give to a charity, you can choose on your profile whether you want to earn for yourself, too.
One of the biggest draws to the service right now is the celebrity appearances. Browse the users and you’ll see appearances from various recognizable names, who seem to be on board for various charities. In the image below you see Pete Wentz, bassist of Fallout Boy, promoting the Fender Music Foundation.
At this point, there isn’t a whole lot of activity going on at the site, so it’s still to be seen whether Mule will have what it takes to grow and get some active users. There’s definitely a lot of opportunity for revenue here, as the site is essentially Pinterest with a whole lot of selling going on — every single image is really a link to a product. Will users see through this and be turned off by the commerce aspect, or will they laud the charity side of things? We’ll be watching!