Pinterest is an online virtual scrapbook, where people can post and share images (“pins”) from a website or uploaded from a computer. Users create their own topic boards (“pinboards”) and browse those created by others. A pin is a picture, illustration, or video residing on a pinboard, corresponding, for example, to the generic term “horse racing” or more precisely to a named farm or racetrack. Pins can be repined by other users, thereby spreading the content virally, and users may also make comments.

The ambitious mission articulated by Pinterest “is to connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting…a favorite book, toy, or recipe can reveal a common link between two people…”

The company is succeeding in spectacular fashion. Pinterest surpassed 10 million monthly unique visitors faster than any standalone website in the history of the Internet. Pinterest currently attracts over 4 million unique visitors per day, who average 15 minutes on the site. According to Comscore, Pinterest recently referred more traffic to other websites than Google+, Linkedin, Twitter, and YouTube combined.

A search of horse racing topics on Pinterest reveals a wide array of subjects; for instance, I’ll Have Another, jockey silks, and racing in Siena, Italy. The word “Frankel” brings up images of the sensational colt named for Bobby Frankel, as well as pins pertaining to the late trainer’s celebrity daughter, Bethenny Frankel. Several Thoroughbred adoption programs have pictures and descriptions of horses in need of caring owners.

Though Pinterest is in its infancy, it has demonstrated such potential that corporations are experimenting with ways to promote their goods and services globally, and do so in an extremely cost-efficient manner. A company gets “pinned” whenever someone clicks on its products to explore in more depth. Yet Pinterest is so new and revolutionary that the founders have not yet determined the appropriate business model for monetizing the concept.

Opportunities for reaching a female audience are especially promising in that girls and women are responsible for Pinterest’s exploding popularity. While they currently comprise over 80 percent of Pinterest users in the United States, the percentage of males on the site is gradually increasing.

Demographic profiles of Pinterest users vary by country. In the United Kingdom, to illustrate, users are about 56 percent male and they are more affluent than in the United States.

Pinterest enables one to easily find people who have an obvious curiosity about a theme. Thus racetracks, partnerships, farms, auctioneers, bloodstock agencies, and many other racing-related organizations have another powerful social-media portal with which to engage people.

Copyright © 2012 Horse Racing Business

Originally published in the Blood-Horse. Used with permission.