We scan the web for quick markers that indicate things we'll be interested in, whether on a social site like Pinterest or a Forbes blog.
This morning Christopher Jobson, creator of ThisIsColossal.com, tweeted this:
Despite their similarities, it's amazing to see how much traffic Pinterest drives outward and how much Tumblr keeps in completely contained.-- Christopher Jobson (@itscolossal) February 22, 2012
In subsequent tweets, Jobson noted that visitors from Pinterest.com "spend more time looking at more pages" than visitors referred from any other site. If you're not familiar with Pinterest, Alexis Madrigal has a comprehensive introduction. But visiting the site should tell you most of what you need to know about it. Users "pin" and categorize images they find compelling from websites; other users can repin them and add to their own collections. Each image is linked back to the originating source.
The difference Jobson draws between Pinterest and Tumblr is an interesting one. Comparisons between the sites are often made; Tumblr likewise facilitates the resharing of content. The difference lies in the objects being shared. Tumblr allows users to write full blog posts, embed videos, share photo galleries. In Pinterest, the image exists almost on its own. There's room for a brief description (newly limited to 500 characters), but the visual emphasis is on the image itself which, when clicked, takes the user to the image's originating site.