If you're reading this and you're on Pinterest, chances are you submitted your "invitation request" and were granted access to the topic-based pinboard social media site shortly thereafter.
Our request to join the site several months ago was granted within 24 hours and it's not clear that the site rejects any invitation, and more likely that the process is a way to make Pinterest seem more selective and differentiate it from Facebook.
After all, Facebook recently revealed that its open registration process has resulted in some 83 million fake accounts -- only a small portion of the 900 million users it claims -- as people sign up pets, use fake names and add personal and professional profiles.
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But as it continues to gain momentum, Pinterest is giving up the pretense of invitations for the open-registration approach.
"For those of you who haven't joined Pinterest yet, this means you can sign up without waiting for an invite," the company wrote on its blog. "In addition to using your Facebook or Twitter login, we're also opening registration so you can sign up with just your e-mail address."
The change comes more than two years after Pinterest debuted as a closed beta in March 2010, founded by Paul Sciarra, Evan Sharp and Ben Silbermann, quickly becoming the fastest-growing social-media site and gaining its first 10 million users in less than a year. As of March the site had 104 million users.
The invitation-only feature served dual purposes, said technology consultant Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group.
"Any new service wants to ramp up service slowly," Enderle told us. "If there are any problems, you want it to be limited. Having a pretext like this allows you to control growth when you have limited resources so you don't have a major system crash if too many people get on at once. They can kind of contain the audience."
Additionally, he said, "It creates a certain kind of status, of being in the club rather than being outside the club." Even if everyone eventually gets in, the invitation system "makes sure they don't all get in at once and let's them have a fairly reasonable rate of growth."
Enderle noted that Google did the same thing with its second attempt at a social network, Google+, in June 2011. But in that case the invitation-only phase lasted just a few days.
"It gave them much more cachet, and when they finally did open it up, people who were denied access suddenly jumped on," he said.
Enderle estimates that while Pinterest itself is not an immediate threat to social media king Facebook, it belongs to a category of specialized sites that do pose a long-term threat. Other such sites include Ombud, which allows users to research and review business products and services, and pop star Lady Gaga's Little Monsters.
"All these focused services coming up outside Facebook are showcasing a severe weakness in Facebook in addressing unique needs and interests," he said. "It's a Yahoo-like problem."
Posted: 2012-08-17 @ 7:16am PT
it is lame -_-