"LoveIt" or Hate it? Is the newest social bookmarking site just a Pinterest ripoff?
Have you heard about LoveIt? It’s a new image-based social bookmarking platform with some striking similarities to another bookmarking site you may have heard about (ahem...Pinterest...ahem).
The design and UX is of LoveIt practically identical to Pinterest, which they acknowledge. LoveIt presents this mimicking with a "if it's not broke, don't fix it" mentality. The way they do this seems a little bit too nonchalant for me. I think it wouldn't feel like such a ripoff if this layout were applied to an entire platform. For example, Statigr.am would look great in this format.
Okay, so we’ve established that the platforms LOOK almost identical. But what about functionality?
SAME: Social sharing actions are essentially identical--you can Like, tweet, embed, email--all of the options that Pinterest offers. "Loving" something is equal to a repin, where on Pinterest when you "heart" something, it's that platform's version of the Like button.
SAME: Bookmarking actions are identical as well. You can save the things you love by discovering within the platform, or you can use the LoveIt plug in to post from the platform from around the Internet.
SAME: You can curate your images
SAME: You can search by keyword or browse categories.
So the basic functions of the site are the same too. However there are a few differences between LoveIt and Pinterest:
DIFFERENT: LoveIt will recommend images for you right in the real time stream. This is a fundamental difference between the two platforms. Not sure how LoveIt currently determines what to recommend, but in my opinion, this seems like a gateway to advertising within the stream.
DIFFERENT: You can hide images in the stream. So if there’s something you don’t want to see, you don’t have to. Unless this hiding functionality is smart (meaning it will learn what you don’t want to see over time and not display those things to you) I feel “meh” about this. I think most users will just scroll right past something they don’t want to see. If they start to see too many undesirable things, they should unfollow the user or the colleciton.
DIFFERENT: Don’t want one of your collections to be public? You have the option to make it private. I like this feature a lot. I tend to let it all hang out there, but I can see a couple different use cases for this. Well done.
DIFFERENT: No integration with Facebook actions (yet) BUT you can “love” things from Facebook onto LoveIt while you can’t pin images to Pinterest from Facebook. Methinks Facebook might end this, but for now, you can love away.
The core difference between Pinterest and LoveIt
Pinterest seems to put more emphasis on the curator, where LoveIt puts much more emphasis on the original source. Original pinners (and repinners for that matter) are front and center, whereas the original source (i.e., the website) gets more attention on LoveIt.
On Loveit, it will show more images from the original "lover" (i guess that's what we'll have to call them) and images from that "lover's" website. And therein lies the rub: LoveIt makes a very strong connection between curator and that's curator's website. Essentially, LoveIt’s functionality is better for businesses and gets right at the heart at what Pinterest has been criticized for.
Will LoveIt be around in six months?
Though LoveIt has some functionalities that make it pretty interesting for marketers, I'm not sure the value is for there for the consumer. From a user experience perspective, it's not unique. Or at least not unique enough to lure folks away from Pinterest. Conversely, those who aren't fond of Pinterest won't find a home on LoveIt because it is so similar.
For example, Manteresting, whose value prop (which I personally think is silly) at least makes some logical sense: they're appealing to what they see as a unique audience. Not that those type of "manly men" who are turned off by Pinterest's heavily female demographic couldn't have just followed men with their similar interests on Pinterest, but I digress. Manteresting makes about as much sense to me as the BIC pens for her, but hey, at least it allows some men to connect with each other without feeling emasculated by all that "girly" stuff.
Curiously, LoveIt has a "pin it" button next to it's tweet and Like buttons. Or perhaps not so curiously. Given that so much of the platform is a copycat, they seem like they want to keep up the illusion that they are not competing with Pinterest when that's exactly like they're doing.
Anecdotally, images on LoveIt seem to have less artistic value; they are less beautiful in my (very subjective) opinion. This could be due to a number of factors--i'm picky about who I follow on Pinterest, and it could be I just have spent the time curating my curators on LoveIt like I've done on Pinterest.
My verdict: Though making predictions in tech is more or less shooting in the dark, I don't think it's too much of a gander to say that LoveIt’s not going to make it. Though the extra functionality may appeal to businesses, I don’t expect there will be a mass exodus from Pinterest or a large adoption rate from those not using Pinterest already. Basta.
Have you tried LoveIt yet? What do you think?
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