A sign that it has become successful is when copycats start springing up. And there’s certainly no shortage of Pinterest clones: There’s Pinspire by Rocket Internet, Stylepin, a Pinterest for fashion, GentleMint, a Pinterest for “manly things”, and Thinng, a Pinterest for, erm, things.
The latest to join the family of Pinterest clones is Singterest, and — you guessed it — it’s a visual bulletin board for all things Singaporean.
The site just went live last week, and is current open to a small group of users for beta testing. Based on what the creators said on Twitter, the project was conceived on 20th March, the same week it launched.
I’ve played around the site, and unfortunately I have to say that it’s an inferior, blatant Pinterest carbon copy, right down to the color scheme, site layout, and even the copy: “Pinterest/Singterest is an online pinboard. Organize and share things you love”!
Well, at least they execute fast.
They’ve promised that Singterest will be more than just a Pinterest clone. That remains to be seen, however.
I’m not very fond of copycats. I think if one were to do a startup, it should be cutting edge instead of trailing behind the footsteps of a giant.
Then again, many clones have had the last laugh. Remember the Beeconomic guys? They were bought over by Groupon for a rumored US$24M, making one of the founders, Christopher Chong, a very eligible bachelor.
They’re not the only ones. BigDeal.sg was purchased by NTUC Link last year for an undisclosed sum, while Groupon rival LivingSocial had their own shopping spree, snapping up three daily deal clones in Asia.
It remains to be seen whether Pinterest will eventually indulge in the same acq-hiring strategy, but seeing how social networks like Facebook have done similar things in the past, I won’t be surprised if that happens.
Singterest still seems a little iffy to me though. It’s one thing to copy a business model or concept. Quite another to photocopy an exact look and feel in its entirety.