What is Pinterest, and Why You Should Care

March 14th, 2012

Are you burned out on social media? Then you really won’t be pleased to hear that a new social media website is gaining traction. However, you might be interested to know that this new site, Pinterest, doesn’t focus on the minutiae of day-to-day living as sites such as Twitter and Facebook seem to. Instead, Pinterest encourages users to express their interests with other people. And in this way, at least, Pinterest does more to encourage creativity among its users than sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook.

But that doesn’t explain what it is. The meaning is inside the name. Pinterest is a combination of the words “pin” and “interest”. In your account you have “pinboards,” similar to bulletin boards. You could make these public or not, and then “pin” images of things you have an interest in onto these and make notes about these images.

Creating Pinterest Categories

With Pinterest you can create different categories, such as business and fashion, then pin images to each category and make notes about the images as well as links to the website you found them on. You can then choose to share all of your pinboards or only a couple with other Pinterest users.

The Social Part of Pinterest

Of course, social interaction forms the heart of Pinterest. You can decide to follow people just like you would on Facebook or Twitter. But you can also decide to follow specific collections. Say a buddy has a number of old movie poster images that you simply find fascinating. But she also has a collection of images of her 3-year-old son that does not quite appeal to you as much. You could choose to follow her movie posters while ignoring her toddler.

Joining Pinterest

This is the most difficult part about Pinterest. You must be invited to sign up. You can go to pinterest.com and request an invitation but there is no telling just how long it will take to receive your invitation. One surefire way is to ask a friend with a Pinterest account to invite you.

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