The way we find things online is slowly changing.  We’re all familiar with the current way of finding anything online: we search. Search has become one of the most profitable business models -just look at google.

We’re now looking towards the future of online information finding and it’s heading more towards discovery. Semil Shah proposes that this will have huge commercial and business potential: today, we are asked what we want to search for – in the future we will discover new and wondrous things through services such as Pinterest and Fancy. 


Pinterest markets itself as a virtual pin board, allowing you to organise and share “pins”. Pins are images that are added to your board via a bookmarklet or uploaded via your phone or computer. These are shared to those who follow or subscribe to your board; thus sharing all the beautiful things you find on the web.

You can browse pin boards created by other people to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests. People use pin boards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and share their favourite recipes.

Pinterest Homepage

Pinterest Homepage

And it’s growing week on week, why? It’s simple to use, elegant, well designed, and has terrific word of mouth appeal. Although initially aimed at women, the appeal to men is creeping in.

Pinterest is accessible through a well designed and developed website and a polished iOS (iPhone only) app.

Fancy Logo

Fancy is essentially the same concept (finding and sharing things that we like or “fancy”) with out the social network element found in Pinterest, you follow categories and tags rather than the people who post.

Fancy calls itself part store, blog, magazine and wish list:

“It’s a place to discover great stuff, to curate a collection of things you love, to get updates on your favourite brands and stores and to share your discoveries.”

Use it to create a catalog of your favourite things around the web and around the world. When you find something you love somewhere on the web, Fancy it (again, this essentially Pinterests “pinning”).

Fancy homepage

Fancy homepage

Fancy is every bit as polished and well designed as Pinterest, with the exception that Fancy appears to be more targeted to the male population, from the colour pallet to the more masculine icon (at least in my opinion.)

Fancy is available via the web, iOS (including iPad optimised version) and android apps.

Both pinterest and fancy are succeeding where Amazon and many others failed before it, they have created a social wish list. The focus is on the images rather than the price or generating leads to other products, which allows independent designers and crafters usually found on etsy and similar sites to have their own stage.

Search is changing, we are now discovering new, exciting and beautiful things through content sharing. Pinterest and Fancy are the beginning of a new era for search discovery, advertising, and promotion.

Do you use Pinterest or Fancy? Or do you have another network you use for discovery? Let me know in the comments!

You can find me on Pinterest and Fancy.

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