Pinterest and 16 Pinterest-Like Websites: Who Came First?

Did Pinterest copy their idea off of other bookmarking sites? Or did other websites copy their idea? What’s so amazing is that there are so many of these sites that look and act similar. Pinterest was founded in December 2009 and launched in a closed beta in March 2010. But as you’ll see below, Zootool, VisualizeUs, PicoCool, FFFFound, and many others were founded in 2009 and as far back as 2007.

Some similar sites are funny like Manteresting – a male spin on Pinterest (since Pinterest accidentally caters towards women). Some are pure copycats, copying the look and feel down to the smallest detail with the help of Pinderful – a cloning software where you can make your own Pinterest-like site. However, in some cases, some sites originated way before Pinterest came along.

  1. Manteresting
    This site is for men only (not that women can’t join), but its content is geared toward men (hence the censored image below). It even says that “Invites are lame. Get started today!” at the top.
  2. Pinspire
    This is an exact replica of Pinterest, but it’s supposed to be about things that inspire you, hence the name. Discover, collect and share your inspirationsis their motto.  You earn what they call “pinpoints” for every action you take on Pinspire such as (re)pinning, liking, commenting, etc. The pinpoints inherently have no value, but they have offered Pinspire Challenges in the past for greatest collections and top pinners. No doubt this has potential revenue possibilities. Perhaps Pinterest should take note?
  3. Pinfun
    Translated to English below, this is a website from China where it lets you pin items. There’s a high volume of seller content featured.
  4. Dribble
    Dribbleis geared toward designers to find and share design images.  It also serves as a place to hire designers or to find a job if you are a designer. A place to “show and tell” your work as they say. The images are referred to as “shots” and everything can be tagged.
  5. Image Spark
    Image Sparklets you upload and create a library of images that inspire you in whatever it is you do.  The difference is they call them Moodboards (as opposed to Pinboards). Unlike Pinterest, you can also make your Moodboards private or share them with the world.

And there are tons more like:

and so on. So why has Pinterest taken off in an almost viral approach, wherease some of the others we’ve barely heard of? Thoughts? Was it the Invite only beta? The venture money? The marketing strategy? Would love to hear your thoughts on what you think in the comments below.

p.s. BONUS: If you use WordPress and are active on Pinterest, you may be interested in these 10 WordPress Pinterest Plugins from Tech18.

And check out Mashable’s article on another new competitor for Pinterest that allows you have private pin boards on BO.LT

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About Tracy Sestili

Tracy Sestili is CEO and Chief blogger at Social Strand Media. She is also the author of Taking Your Brand from the Bench to the Playing Field -- Social Media Fundamentals for Business.


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