Pinterest of interest, but feds not yet sold on it

The Pinterest social media service is rapidly gaining in popularity on the Web, and federal agencies are starting to take notice.

Pinterest.com is a bookmarking and linking social website where users can create a bulletin board of interesting photographs, graphics, videos and news digitally “pinned” to their page, and easily share those links with others.

As of Feb. 6, no federal agencies were active on Pinterest, and there were no terms of service approved for federal agencies available for the site at the Apps.gov website.

The General Services Administration “probably won’t pursue a Terms of Service agreement [with Pinterest] until there is more of a groundswell,” the GSA’s NewMedia office tweeted on Jan. 6, according to a recent GovLoop article on Pinterest.

While some federal agencies might not be a good fit for Pinterest, others could benefit from its format and its rising popularity, GovLoop said.

Indeed, the service does seem to have some potential as a way to generate interest. In January 2012,  3.6 percent of Web traffic referrals came from Pinterest, up from 2.5 percent in December, according to a Feb 1 article in SearchEngineWatch.com.

Pinterest was fourth in overall traffic, following Facebook, with 26.4 percent; StumbleUpon, with 5.1 percent; and Twitter, with 3.6 percent. Pinterest ranked higher than LinkedIn, Google+ and YouTube as a source of referrals.

Pinterest also more than tripled the number of users on the site between September and December 2011, to 7 million, the article said. The growth was achieved even though participation on the website currently is by invitation only.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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