Whether you’re going on a road trip, looking for a new restaurant, or looking for a photo of a koala, Google is the one-stop-shop for all of your needs.
While a number of other services have tried to take on Google, no one has been able to successfully do so. Apple attempted to launch their own maps application, but their effort was premature and lacked many of the features that Google already effortlessly provided with Maps.
But Pinterest, the social sharing and pinning service, has been expanding their efforts to reach users’ different needs.
While Pinterest may not overtake Google as the king of directions— or, not now at least—the pinning community could soon become a viable search alternative for images, new businesses, etc.
Here are some of the reasons why Pinterest may someday replace Google.
Pinterest’s new Place Pins feature is far from being an authorized directions tool like Google. However, it is very useful if you want to browse new locations.
Place Pins allow users to tag their favorite restaurants, cafés, shops, etc. Other users can then find these locations by searching on Pinterest.
To increase the number of locations, Pinterest has partnered with Foursquare.
Place Pins is a fun and easy-to-use tool. Say you’re looking for a new restaurant for you and your friends; you could go to Place Pins and click on one of the boards near you. For example, Goings on About Town: Food and Drink covers bars and restaurants in New York City.
Each of the pins represents an area where users have added a restaurant. You can zoom in to see the more detail.
Here you can access a review, recommendation, address and contact information for each listing.
One of the biggest advantages Pinterest has over Google is in their visual search capabilities. Sure, Google has visual search, but it’s not quite the same as searching for an image on Pinterest.
Pinterest consists solely of user-curated content. Every image you see on Pinterest is one that a user has deemed interesting. In contrast, Google covers all content on the internet, both good images and bad ones. Since Pinterest is so user-driven, it has more of the content users actually want to see.
Originally, Pinterest couldn’t come close to Google in terms of search capability; while the community had billions of pins, there was no way to organize them. Now, though, Pinterest is dedicated to making images easier to find for users. Pinterest is pushing its users to post Rich Pins, which contain tags and metadata to make it easier for users to find relevant pins. In other words, it’s thinking more like a search engine.
The other big edge Pinterest has over Google is that they are more interactive. Pinterest gives people ideas about what to do with an item.
When you search for “cookware” on Google, you probably get a good description of different kinds of pots and what they’re used for. You probably don’t get many ideas for how to use your cookware, though.
On Pinterest, you can go to almost any cookware or bakeware page and get hundreds of great ideas for recipes, cooking tips, and how to take care of your cookware. You also get the information Google provides, such as descriptions, pricing, etc.
Say, for example, you use Ceramcor cookware. If you visit the company’s Pinterest page, you can access recipes, cooking blogs, promotions, and almost anything else you can think of that’s related to cookware.
As you can see from the examples above, the Pinterest experience is far more interactive and catered to the end user than Google. It is true that Pinterest and Google are fundamentally different sites —Pinterest is social media, while Google is primarily a resource. As social media becomes a bigger part of our lives, though, don’t be surprised if Pinterest starts to compete with the search engine giant more and more.
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