You know a social site is getting serious cred when even the U.S. Army is on it. As Singaporean blogger @mrbrown quipped on Twitter, Pinterest is "Crack for Visual People."
Global figures for Pinterest have been rising astronomically. As of December 2011, Hitwise said the virtual pinboard and social network has received nearly 11 million total visits. And yes, more than 100 brands have staked out a presence there.
Other sources report the site has already registered more than 10 million users and is generating more referral traffic to some websites than YouTube, Google+, and LinkedIn combined.
In the five markets that Experian Hitwise monitors, traffic for Pinterest has grown significantly between March 2011 and January 2012.
As the chart above illustrates, Australia has seen the most significant increase in visit share from 0.0005 percent to 0.0207 percent in the past 10 months.
New Zealand has also seen notable growth, emerging as the top country among the five markets based on visit share at 0.0351 percent in January.
Hitwise also observed that Pinterest enjoyed higher popularity among English-speaking countries like New Zealand, Australia, and Singapore.
Graeme Beardsell, chief marketing officer at Experian Asia Pacific, notes traffic for Pinterest in the region is still low compared to Facebook. But it is the fastest growing site under the social networking and forums category based on Hitwise stats.
Beardsell advises brands to proceed with caution, but if Pinterest is attracting a great number of users in their particular segment such as apparel, then it's worth a look.
"It's a very cheap way to test the market, unlike traditional marketing," he added.
China's Up and Coming Pinterest Clone: Renren Guangjie
While the share of visitors to Pinterest in China does not look too impressive on Hitwise at 0.0001 percent, it is still a rapidly growing site that jumped more than 1,000 positions in the social networking category.
In January, large China-based social network Renren rolled out its own Pinterest-like service, Renren Guangjie (loosely translated as "everyone shops").
Although there are many Pinterest clones in China, Renren Guangjie is worth highlighting because it is part of a social network that boasts a total of 31 million active monthly users in the country.
Renren Guangjie, designed to be e-commerce friendly for brands, reportedly sends the bulk of its referral links to local e-commerce giant Taobao. It features a marketplace with the most popular brands on the platform, including luxury brand Chanel, Clinique, Zippo, and Ray-Ban sunglasses.
It also allows visitors on the site to track the most searched categories or brands, such as Spanish apparel brand Zara and Dr. Martens shoes.
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Adaline Lau, ClickZ Asia editor, oversees day-to-day editorial operations covering digital marketing from search to social media, mobile to analytics in the region. Before ClickZ, she was senior reporter at Marketing Magazine and has worked as a journalist for The Singapore Marketer and Asia Pacific Broadcasting.
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