It was only launched in March 2010, and is today, still invite only, but Pinterest is grabbing the interest of a lot of creative internet user as it continues to snowball in popularity. I was instantly struck by Pinterest within minutes of signing up. But what is the site and what is so appealing about it?
Once you’ve been invited to join Pinterest, either through email request, or through a friend already using it you will be submerged into a beautiful world of organised visuals. So what is it? The idea is very simple, the website describes itself as “a virtual pinboard” that “allows you to organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web” As well as curating your own finds the site also allows you to “browse pinboards created by other people to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests“
It’s the elegant simplicity that makes the site appealing. You are able to ‘pin’ things to a ‘board’ and develop a collection of similar visuals. You can also collate multiple boards with varying themes, for example you may have a board of artwork you enjoy, and another board made up of cars you like. Users are then able to browse each others and ‘repin’ images they find onto their own boards. This sharing method of the ‘repin’ or more commonly ‘reblog’ is becoming a hugely prominent way of sharing content with other users on the same platform.
Of course we get all the other functions we have now grown to expect from a social site like this, such as comments, likes, a profile of sorts, and connectivity to your other profiles around the social sphere ie. Facebook and Twitter. (Facebook’s growing need to share your every last interaction with the world now means there is also a Pinterest App which divulges all your pinning activity with your list of Facebook friends and beyond.) As well as all this, the most impressive/useful part is you are able to either follow a users entire set of pins, or JUST individual boards. This is a great way to tailor the content that comes into your feed, ensuring you’re only getting what is (p)interesting to you.
Pinterest is very much one of those sites that draws you in and steals 3 or 4 yours of you life without you realising. The user interface is a thing of beauty and makes for an enjoyable browsing experience. Subtle things such as the endless scrolling and the pretty grid layout. The clever part is the ‘Pin It’ button, a piece of coding that you can save onto your browser’s bookmark bar that allows you to pin any image from a site you are visiting, & each pin added using the Pin It button links back to the site it came from. This allows for cool imagery to remain credited to it’s origin and not get lost in the murky depths of sharing that can sometimes happen on other sites.
From a number-crunching business point of view it’s beginning to look like that Pinterest is worth investigating if you want to adapt and grow your online presence. The ability to take an image from your site (perhaps a product your selling) and have it on Pinterest with a link back to the site could be a tremendous way to drive traffic. There’s already over 100 brands ahead of the curve registered with Pinterest including the likes of Etsy, Threadless, Gap, & American Airlines.
Here’s the part where I throw in an infographic:
It’s going to be pretty big, and could be hugely valuable if used in the right way.
Once you get signed up and get a feel of what it’s about then it is very easy to become a ‘pinteresting’ person.
[My personal Pinterest profile can be found here]