On Tuesday, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg quietly “liked” Friendsheet, exposing the application to his almost 12 million subscribers on Facebook. Friendsheet is the newest addition to the Facebook empire and competes head-to-head with the new and popular social-networking, photo-sharing tool, Pinterest. Friendsheet.com is available to any Facebook user and offers the same look and feel as Pinterest, but integrates seamlessly with Facebook, where the average user spent nearly seven hours in January. Pinterest users on the other hand spent an average of 89 minutes.
Pinterest and its activity pales in comparison with the social media giant Facebook, with nearly 1 billion users. One of the benefits to Friendsheet is obvious. It integrates directly with Facebook allowing you to quickly upload a photo or infographic and share it within your Facebook network. Unfortunately, items shared on Friendsheet aren’t easily searchable or shareable with individuals who are not within your network. Pinterest offers this benefit and provides a viral nature where photos don’t get lost among status updates, articles read and other updates. While Pinterest’s search ability isn’t robust, it does provide keyword search and the ability to create boards by topic, which can be followed by others within the Pinterest community.
The popularity of Pinterest — which had 12 million unique visitors in January 2012 — has given rise to a number of copycats. Sites such as Pinspire, Stylepin and GentleMin are — much like Friendsheet — among the growing number of Pinterest-like sites tapping into the photo-sharing and pinning phenomenon. Bloggers and SEO experts are flocking to these sites to increase their Web traffic driven using this new breed of social network.
The design and launch of Friendsheet reminds me of Facebook’s attempt at gaining a foothold in the growing geolocation market in late 2010 and its attempt to use Facebook Deals to compete with Living Social and Groupon in April 2011. Places and Deals each lasted just a few months.
This post is by Jessica Miller-Merrell, a leadership blogger at Blogging4Jobs. She is a digital strategist with a passion for recruiting, human resources, training and social media and is the author of “Tweet This! Twitter for Business,” a how-to business guide for Twitter.
Correction: In an earlier version of this post, we incorrectly identified Friendsheet’s ownership. Friendsheet is an independently developed application and gained popularity after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg “liked” the application on his page. SmartBrief regrets the error.