When Pinterest closed its beta program in 2010 and finally went public, the response by consumers was overwhelming. Everyone rushed to the site to create inspiration boards, and since then, Pinterest has been the dominating force in this area.
Sure, other sites tried the same concept. Sites like We Heart It and Wanelo gained their own following, but nothing really slowed Pinterest down. But now, the site might actually have some true competition.
Google has officially stepped into the ring. The search engine giant has recently released a new feature where users can save "collections" of images they find while browsing. Right now, the feature is only available to mobile users, but Google has plans to expand it all U.S. users very soon. Although, no release date has been provided at this time.
The feature is tied to a users Google account. To build collections, you must be logged in. These collections can be used to store inspiration for outfits, hairstyles, shopping lists and more. Just like your favorite Pinterest board. Google's adaptation is also designed to be user-friendly. When logged in, after performing a search you can tap buttons to narrow down and organize the results. Then, simply edit these selections within the collections you choose.
This isn't the first time Google has attempted to take on a social media giant. Remember when Google+ was rumored to be the next Facebook? That didn't go very well, and Pinterest hopes it's the same case here.
While social media outlets do have the advantage of building consumer interest first, Google does have the advantage of being the number one search engine. Consumers everywhere use Google products in one way or another. So, as more services become available, the convenience factor may be an appealing reason to consider moving over.
For now, Google says its primary focus is to bringing online communities together, and helping them interact more efficiently. Its simpler "collection" platform won't come with features that set Pinterest apart, such as the social aspect or buyable pins. But, it may be an appealing option for users who want to save ideas without those bells and whistles.
That being said, Pinterest is no underdog. It has staved off rising competitors in the past, including other giants like Facebook and Amazon, that experimented with collection platforms.