Pinterest is the newest social phenomenon to hit the internet and it already boasts millions of addicts. It is a social networking and publishing website based on photos and other media. Pinterest has experienced incredible growth in a short amount of time. In fact, it’s the fastest website in the history of the internet to reach 10 million unique visitors per month. Development of the website began in 2009. From 2010 to 2011 it was in a closed beta mode with few users but since then has been in invitation only open beta mode.
The interface is clean and simple to use and it’s easy to learn how to use the site. Users create pinboards representing a collection of images with a certain theme. You can upload videos, pictures or links to interesting websites to your collection. These items are known as pins and you can sort and manage your pins from within your account.
To create an account on Pinterest, you must either receive an invitation from a user who already has an account or request an invitation directly from Pinterest. Once you have created your account, you can log in using your Facebook or Twitter account. You can browse other members’ pinboards or visit an area of the website where Pinterest will give you pinboard recommendations based on items you have pinned to your various boards.
In the United States, about 68% of Pinterest users are women. Many use the site to pin and organize pictures for fashion or decorating ideas, wedding planning or home design. Others use it to pin work related images for marketing purposes. Still others use the site to share cute pictures of their children with their friends.
The website is “images only”, which may explain why many women like it. With the simplified interface and no text, it’s easy to collect images from around the web that you like. For example, if I am thinking about where to go on vacation this summer, I might create a pinboard named “vacation”. I can then browse the web and when I come across a place or idea that I might like to visit for vacation, I can pin it to my vacation board. Later, I don’t have to remember which site I was visiting. I can just go into my account and view the images and click through to the correct website.
The website has become so popular because its applications are limited only by the user’s imagination, and there is virtually no learning curve. You just create your pinboard and start pinning. There’s nothing to install on your computer. It’s just easy to use. Educators are pinning reading suggestions. Interior decorators are pinning samples. Cooks are pinning recipes. Website designers and photographers can create pinboards that serve as portfolios of their work.
Pinterest currently has an iPhone app and an iPad app is in development. An Android compatible app will also most likely be developed. This is certainly one social networking site that will continue to grow in popularity as time goes on, and chances are you have at least one friend who is already a member.