On this site people find pictures from all over the Web and link them to pinboards. They view, like and comment on one another’s photos of DIY decor, wedding themes and designer shoes.
And even though they know it’s a ripoff, many users simply don’t care.
Pinspire is the latest creation of Germany’s Samwer brothers, a trio of developers who make knock offs of American sites like eBay, Zynga and GroupOn, according to Read Write Web. Now wait for them to gain popularity overseas, and sell them to the platforms they ripped off in the first place.
This ripoff may have one distinct advantage over others: Pinterst’s exclusivity (right now one needs to get an official invitation to join.) While would-be Pinterest users wait for approval to join the popular site, they can jump right onto Pinspire.
One such user is Natalie Wright, a BlogHer network blogger who is sick of waiting to be invited to Pinterest. The site, which has been in beta for a year now, still requires either an invitation from a friend or sign-up waiting period, which can be lengthy unless you use Etsy’s Pinterest loophole.
“If you’re getting tired of waiting for that invitation to Pinterest to finally go through, you will discover Pinspire only requires you to sign up,” wrote Wright. “No more ridiculous waiting to be invited to a private club that everyone else and their dog already belongs to.”
Wright isn’t the only one to give the knockoff a chance. Ivette, the blogger behind Taking off at Nine, was another blogger who had yet to gain access to Pinterest.
“Ok… it’s almost the same thing as Pinterest but you don’t need any invitation,” she wrote. “My decision? Making a Pinspire profile!”
However, misinformation is still spreading about the nature of Pinspire. Love Maegan, a fashion blogger with 15,000 subscribers, endorsed the site at first before realizing it was a knockoff.
“Pinterest does incorporate both international users & allows anyone to join – so yeah, direct rip off. I will be interested to see how far they get,” she updated.
Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad, a fashion blog with over 100,000 Facebook fans, is also somewhat to blame. Ferragni, who is in Italy, told fans that Pinspire is the foreign-language version of Pinterest.
“Yes Pinterest is in the same family, but it’s the US version!” she wrote in her comments.
The biggest Pinspire recruiter however, is unwittingly Pinterest itself. Pinspire has deployed spam accounts on Pinterest designed simply to leave this comment on popular pins:
“I love your pictures! I would like to pin this at pinspire .com if this is ok with you?”
You can see examples of this here, here and here for starters. Or just do a “find on page” search for “Pinspire” on any Pinterest page. Pinterest does not seem to be doing anything about these accounts, and has yet to respond to our request for comment.
In the meantime, will you be joining Pinspire?