Pinterest: The New, Flourishing Online Phenomenon

Posted on November 12, 2012 in Sci-Tech

By Anuva Kulkarni:

The meeting is about to start and my work desk is a mess. I have to put together a catalogue of vintage home décor for some very important people in that conference room, and I have run out of glue. Plus, I simply cannot find that picture of the gorgeous redwood desk that I had cut out of a magazine, expressly for this assignment. Pieces of paper are peeking out of the scrap book I made and I am worried they will get damaged, torn or lost in the passing-around-the-table during the meeting. It’s a nightmare, and I know, I should have cleaned up my desk, but there really is no time. If only there was an easier way.

And there is! Pinterest is every scrap-book lover’s dream come true. It’s a ‘virtual pinboard’, an image bookmarking system, so you don’t have to worry about postcards falling off — every picture, down to the little 10×10 pixel one you collected is as safe as it will ever be. You can make multiple, elaborate Pinboards and share them, or browse others’ boards for inspiration. An image added to Pinterest is called a ‘pin’, which can be added from a website using the ‘Pin It’ button, or uploaded from your computer. Each pin added using the ‘Pin It’ button links back to the site it came from, so your Pinboard is one place that puts all your favourite images of a certain theme together. There is a variety of categories to choose from — Art, History, Travel, and so on. You can ‘Re-pin’ and ‘Like’ images, just like Facebook, but without all the clutter. The look of the website is clean and simple, and its mission is to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting”.

Pinterest , with its novel concept, has managed to outshine other social photo sharing sites. The overwhelming response from millions of users that it has received is proof of this fact. People share wedding decorations, fashion ideas, geeky humour and so much more. It is a treat for the eyes to browse through pretty dresses, scrumptious food or the breathtaking nature. Not only that, Pinboards can be used by educators to plan lessons and by students to collaborate on projects. Sharing boards leads to sharing ideas, and that’s a wonderful way to remodel your home, go retro for a party or look up do-it-yourself craft ideas. The stylish red logo has found its way to almost every website and blog, nesting side-by-side with Facebook and Twitter.

Just like other social networking sites being used for brand publicity, Pinterest is the ideal way for brands to reach many users, and to be seen and discovered. Users ‘like’ and re-pin images, and by clicking on the image, are directed to the original brand’s website, where the image came from. By embedding a ‘Pin-it’ button on their sites/blogs and by asking employees to attract followers on Pinterest, these brands publicize themselves, while giving something visually appealing to the Pinterest community. Moreover, users themselves create Pinboards dedicated to TV shows, celebrities, fashion icons and new trends.

So hats off to the makers of Pinterest for a delightful concept that’s incredibly useful, convenient and a lot of fun. If I were you, I would get an account as soon as possible and start exploring!

Here are some of my favourite boards:
Baggage Reclaim — Brightens up my day!
Bon Appetit Magazine — The Food and Drinks Magazine
Paris — The dream vacation

Which ones do you like?