To give a caveat, I am not yet a member of the great mass of Pinterest Converts. Sure, I’ve had an account for a while, but I haven’t been using it that heavily (my wife, Runwiki, on the other hand, uses hers quite a lot). As such, I don’t face the dread of investing in another system for which I already subscribe. In other words, I’ve got no skin in the game on this one and so am reviewing LoveIt purely on its own merits.
What is it?
LoveIt is a digital pinning app extremely similar to Pinterest. You use it to “pin” images (and the articles they’re connected to) to your own “board” that you can share with others. In almost every functional respect LoveIt and Pinterest are identical — they even look the same!
How Does It Work?
You can sign up through Facebook (definitely the easiest method). Once you’ve got an account, you can add a “LoveIt” button to your browser’s task bar (by far the easiest pinning method), and you’re off to the races. You can subscribe to various topics/services, and create new topical boards to keep everything organized.
It has an incredibly simple interface, and it is those types of details that set it apart from Pinterest.
How is it Different?
As always when a new competitor shows up, the biggest question is: “What new thing are they bringing to the table?” In the case of LoveIt, it doesn’t appear like it’s bringing much new to the “Pinning” game at all — until you start using it.
Pinterest is a cool thing and it is obviously extremely popular. But it has it’s faults. LoveIt goes a long way to correcting many of them, making it much easier to find (and follow) information on the pictures that are pinned. These corrections go a long way, I think, to making it a superior “pinning” platform for both users and marketers. What faults are these and how are they corrected? I’ll explain:
Streamlined Pinning Process
When you are on a website and want to pin an image, for both services the best thing to do is hit that service’s browser button. When you do that in Pinterest, every image on that web page pops up — including those for ads. I’ve seen anywhere from one to over a dozen images pop up. And, further confusing things, often the main image of the page/post is not the first to show. With LoveIt these extra images are filtered out and all you see are the images from the actual page/post. This streamlines the pinning process and ensures the right image is tied to the proper page link.
More Information Up Front
The best way to describe this is to say that LoveIt makes better use of screen real estate than Pinterest, thus reducing friction and increasing the likelihood of being followed.
When you click on an image in a Pinterest Board, what you see is the image itself, and, above that, who pinned it and a small text link to the site it came from. To the right of the main image are sharing links (Like, tweet, embed, email). But, to learn more about the sharer, others who have shared it, etc, you need to scroll down the page. Not so with LoveIt! Instead of using a single column in the center of the screen, LoveIt uses two columns to make the relevant information available without scrolling.
When you pin a pic using Pinterest, you have a drop down to select which topic you want to pic to be placed in. But what if you need to create a new board on the fly right then and there? You can do it in Pinterest, but you have to scroll down to the bottom of your topic list to reach the option — not very intuitive, most probably won’t find that without really looking. LoveIt has an “Add to New Collection” option right there directly under the Collection drop down menu. Simple, elegant, easy to find and use.
I find LoveIt to be extremely similar to Pinterest, but more streamlined, accessible, and easier to use. As a new user to digital pinning, I have to admit that I prefer LoveIt to Pinterest.
But, while I am new to digital pinning, digital pinning is not new. LoveIt is just getting started in a field that is utterly dominated by Pinterest — can it break out? The LoveIt site promises an innovative development roadmap, highlighting increased user collaboration and discovery options. That sounds like a pretty good start to me, and will keep me checking back on their service. Pinterest is not resting on its laurels either, and they are also trying to tweak their service to increase user comfort. Unfortunately, so far Pinterest is looking a lot more at aesthetics and less about function (though now you can pin Vimeo videos on Pinterest, so that might go crazy if they can get YouTube on board).
The million dollar question (literally), is can LoveIt’s new energy and refined development approach overcome Pinterest’s massive user base? I don’t know the answer to that. The hundred thousand dollar question is, what exactly are people looking for in a pinning service? Just the pins, or a smooth ability to share those pins?
As for me, I’m going to keep using LoveIt. I like it.