Pinterest is like having a bulletin board with images of things you like on it. Users pin things to their boards and others can view and follow collections others have created.
A Pin It bookmark is necessary to grab an image and sourcelink from a website to add it to your board. Users may also repin items from other people’s boards.
Pinterest was founded by Ben Silbermann and Paul Sciarra in 2010. The company has raised $10 million in its Series A funding and another $27 million in October 2011. Also, they won a Crunchie from TechCrunch for Best New Startup Of 2011.
People can actually use the site to sell items on Etsy or eBay by pinning them to their virtual board. The site discourages making a user’s board into an online store, but if they want to highlight a particular item, they can do so and possibly generate interest in their site as all pinned items are linked to the source.
During review, it was interesting that an invitation had to be requested to access the application. No information other than an email address was requested on the application. The request was acknowledged immediately, but no time was given for how soon an invitation may appear. While waiting for an invitation, the site was explored.
Plans are in the works for an integrated iPhone app with an integrated ability to pin through the camera feature. The bookmarklet would be applied to the Safari toolbar.
While unable to create a board prior to being invited, users are able to view existing boards. It appears that each pinned item has a comment from the user about why they chose to pin it. Some are quite witty. Other users are invited to comment on the items as well. Items may also be repined or “liked”.
It appears that each board has a title and many have themes such as hair, crafts, typography, quotes, and so on. Each pinboard has a follow button so that you can see new additions on your homescreen. It is interesting to view the various collections.
Without a proper invitation, this review cannot provide information regarding the pinning process. Based on the rest of the site, it should be fairly intuitive.
One must be invited to join Pinterest. Users may request and invitation on the home page. The only information asked for is an email address. An immediate “thank you” acknowledgement of the request is sent, but users must wait for a formal invite to participate. It is unclear why there is a wait because all that is asked for is an email address. It would seem that invitations would either request some kind of qualifying information or would auto-approve invitations. After over an hour, no invitation had arrived. In many cases, potential users would have lost interest and found another program to fill their needs during that time. Pinterest would do well to streamline this. Either allow registration; screen by criteria and provide timeline for approval; or automatically generate and invitation. By making potential users wait, they may be losing quite a bit of business to similar sites.
Pinterest is free to use.
Pinterest is like having a virtual bulletin board to share things of interest with friends. As long as a user is comfortable with the bookmarklet feature of pinning items, there is something for everyone here. It is interesting that some users link to things they are selling on other sites to gain interest through Pinterest. The social networking component of being able to follow others and comment on pinned items is also appealing.
The fact that most boards are themed is also a big plus and is easier to look through than browsing by tags.