It feels a little late in the day to be writing about Pinterest – such is the world of the internet – but while it currently holds the record for ‘fastest growing online network’ ever (currently between 50-70 million users depending on who you listen to) I still talk to lots of people who are not sure what it’s all about.
Wikipedia defines Pinterest as “a pinboard-style photo-sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, and hobbies.”
The definition of “Photo-sharing” diminishes its functionality to a degree – while the ‘visualisation’ of the ‘pin’ using ‘images’ is key to the Pinterest experience, you can share much more than just the picture.
At the moment I use it in the way that I used to use Delicious; simply a collection of bookmarked ‘favourite things’. They may be images, but usually images that are part of a webpage, TED talk, App, etc. So, on my ‘Books’ board you’ll find images of recommended reading, but those images will take you to the relevant Amazon page to purchase or sample. The TED board ‘pins’ will take you to the actual TED talk.
Pinning your favourites is as simple as a cut and paste of the web address, or navigating to an image on your had-drive to upload. You’ll also find that more and more sites are (as this one does) displaying handy buttons that allow you to ‘pin’ webpages with a single click. Your ‘boards’ and ‘pins’ can be shared, followed, liked, re-shared, etc – but you can also make boards collaborative amongst groups. (While I’ve yet to use it in this way it was one of the features that ‘piqued’ my interest in the site.)
Launched in 2010, the requisite iPhone app in 2011 (and other platforms since) provided additional mobile access – by December of that year Pinterest was in Time magazine’s list of top 50 websites of the year and one of the top 10 social networks with 11 million total visits per week.
For me, Hubspot’s ‘How to use Pinterest for Business’ helped cement my understanding of Pinterest’s value and potential and while I haven’t yet had an opportunity to use it more thoroughly I thought it was about time I drew your attention to my Pinterest account (you can also access it via a button on the left hand column of my home page).
I’ve seen great examples of Pinterest used for mood boards, photo-blogs and exhibitions; and because collections are visualised, visitors are drawn in exactly as they might be to a pinboard on your wall.
So I recommend you give it a go! Please check out my Pinterest boards and if you’ve got any ideas, suggestions for new boards or boards that I should visit, let me know. Most of all, create some of your own and let me know how you get on!