Pinterest is a social network for people who embrace the notion that a picture really is worth more than a thousand words. Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social sites, surpassing both Google+ and LinkedIn by attracting over 100 million visits per month. Here's what you need to know...
What is Pinterest?
It's essentially a collection of people's collections of images they have created themselves, or found on the Web. Actually, it's a bit more than that, but you have to dig deeper into the Pinterest community to understand.
Let's start with the basic Pinterest "pinboard," your personal space on Pinterest that you receive after being "invited" to join the community. (The invitation may come from a friend but you can also request an invitation and get it immediately, which seems more cordial than simply "registering" for an account, I guess.) With a Pinterest account, you get a browser button that's available wherever you go on the Web.
When you see a picture you want to add to your pinboard, just press the Pinterest button. You can also upload clever images you've created yourself, or photos that you think are interesting or funny. You can add a caption and title to your picture, and put it into one of Pinterest's general categories or a category of your creation. Pinterest also stores a link back to the source of the image; clicking on the image will take you to the Web page on which you found it.
You can browse other people's pinboards, and "re-pin" images from their collections to your own pinboard. Just for fun, I've created pinboards called Tech Stuff and Fun and Funny Stuff. The latter is (mostly) photos that I've taken in my travels.
Who Uses Pinterest, and Why?
Essentially, Pinterest is a social bookmarking network similar to Delicious.com, only the former is designed mainly for bookmarking images (and videos). Of course, you can share things that you add to your pinboard with your Twitter and Facebook friends, too. You can even pin images from your mobile devices.
Pinterest is used to store and organize pictures for different purposes. Some people just collect images of things they want to buy, using Pinterest as an ad hoc comparison shopping site. Others collect images of things that interest them, which may range from pets to children to power tools and more.
Businesses also use Pinterest to promote brands and sell merchandise. One of the main Pinterest categories is "Gifts." Images classified as gifts can have prices added to them, and their back-links can direct the user to a place where items can be purchased. Educators are using Pinterest to share lesson plans. DIY enthusiasts share pictures of their creations, with links to instructions on how you can build them too.
Over 12 million people use Pinterest. As of 2012, about 83 per cent of Pinterest's US-based users are women. In the UK, 56 per cent are male, and they average 10 years younger than the average U. S. user who is 35-44 years old.
At least two Pinterest copycats have arisen, both targeting the male demographic. They are Gentlemint and MANteresting. I am somewhat bemused by Pinterest, being a text-oriented kinda guy. I do understand the fun factor, but I see many of the same photos being posted on Facebook, and many other "funny photos" websites. That makes me wonder if it will continue to thrive as a social site, but it may have a future as an online marketing channel. Internet marketing guru Don Crowther sees that potential, and has a created PinIncome, a website dedicated to showing people how to make money by using Pinterest.
Are you an Pinterest fan? How do you find it fun, interesting or useful? Post your comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 3 Jul 2012
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Very PINteresting! (Posted: 3 Jul 2012)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved