What is Pinterest, and Why Should I Care?

It‘s official. Pinterest has arrived! One may be forgiven for thinking that this is surely not breaking news considering the reports earlier this month on many tech sites that Pinterest had become the fastest standalone website ever to achieve 10 million unique visitors. That kind of news is however only read by geeks and the information shared with the long suffering species, “˜spouse of geek‘. This week, Pinterest received a major boost in its endevour to dominate the worldwide time spent on social media, with a David Pogue review in the New York Times. World, meet Pinterest!


Pinterest is in essence a platform for the collating and sharing of pictures. Think of it like scrapbooking without the glue and scissors, Scrapbooking 2.0 perhaps, or iScrapbook. Your account is comprised of multiple “˜pinboards‘, which you will “˜pin‘ relevant images to e.g. If you come across an image online of a beautiful antique lamp, you may choose to pin it to your “˜future renovations‘ pinboard or, a recipe for beef tagine could find its way onto your “˜adventurous recipes‘ pinboard. The examples above were carefully chosen to provide the reader with an image of what Pinterest may currently look like. In fact, it may best be described as,
“˜Pinterest… where hot fitness models frolic among exotic travel destinations and mouthwatering recipes‘.
Representatives from Pinterest are welcome to contact me should they wish to utilize that slogan in future but the point is that Pinterest is presently very female orientated, with women making up more than 80% of it‘s members. I am however not implying that, Pinterest does not cater to other interests. Statistics and unique visitor records aside, I cannot recall becoming this addicted to a website before. I find the  Humour and Geek pins immensely entertaining and this is where the social networking aspect of Pinterest comes in.

The popular tab gives a clear indication who the main users of Pinterest are!

You can choose to follow a contributor‘s pinboard (or all of their pinboards) and thereby ultimately view images relevant to your interests, which you can then re-pin onto your pinboards. Each image may be captioned and users can comment on an image when posted. If my description of Pinterest does not make you want to sign up immediately then I recommend that you visit the site and experience it for yourself as I may be doing a poor job of explaining what is a very functional experience.

Pinterest has something for everyone on any topic.

There is humour (maybe inspiration) for us geeks!

There are recipes for mum!

There is even stuff for the fanatic!

One of the things I love most about Pinterest is that it is not about you, popularity and friends and all those other things that go with conventional social networking. There are no Facebook updates confirming your love for your partner. No Tweet about what you are having for lunch. It is essentially a service for you to collate your interests and to explore what similar people have discovered and found interesting. The thing I love the most about Pinterest however must be the complete lack of advertising on their site. Income is generated by a “˜behind the scenes‘ affiliate program.
The experience however is not complete and enhancements are required. Possible enhancements that would improve my experience would include:

  • The creation of an iPad app. Pinterest and the iPad (or any tablet for that matter) are made for each other.
  • Secondly, there is no easy “˜pin it‘ button on iOS Safari which reduces the iOS app to merely view and repin from other pinboards.
  • There is no ability to make a pinboard private (something you may want to consider while researching stuff like “œ Surprise holiday plans“.
  • Pinterest should just change the name of the “œGeek“ interest to “œStar Wars“ since the majority of the stuff posted under Geek is in some way Star Wars related!

It is only a matter of time before companies start pinboards to advertise their latest products (iCatalog?), but I do not necessarily see that as a bad thing. Since you have complete control of the pinboards you view, you could choose to merely unfollow pinboards that are no longer interesting or obvious marketing ploys. Although the company has no immediate plans to monetize the experience, this has proven to be no guarantee of what may come. Whether the influx of new members will spoil the current experience, remains to be seen, but services like Flipboard and Evernote (which has a similar web clipping feature) must surely be concerned with the rapid growth of Pinterest. I, for one, think it‘s great and an awesome way to waste time online, not that one was ever required.