Pinterest is rapidly gaining ground as one of the most prominent websites in social media today. Here is what you can expect from the site.
Ever since the boom of the internet, "website phenomena" have been popping up left and right. I'm talking about big name sites like Google, eBay, Facebook, and Twitter. These sites are global powerhouses and get millions of page-views and unique visits each and every day. However, it takes a lot more for a website to become a global entity in the modern day.
Because of new tools, services, and technologies, anyone and everyone can pretty much "make a website" regardless of their skill level. This has helped to level the playing field but has also made it harder for websites to just "skyrocket" in popularity. It now takes a special idea and a great design for a website to truly soar above the competition.
The newest goliath to hit the social media scene is Pinterest. The site has already grown to over 10.4 million registered users and is expanding by leaps and bounds every day. Some analysts and web-gurus are calling it the "next Facebook" and heralding its easy to use and addicting interface. But what exactly is Pinterest, and why has it become such an internet sensation?
What is Pinterest?
Simply put, Pinterest is a giant online "pin-board". It's a place where you can culminate all of your favorite things and ideas into one cohesive page. When was the last time that you surfed the web and came across a variety of items (both physical and intellectual) that you wanted to save for later viewing? Until now, the only way to do this was to bookmark the page that the item was on.
You would then have to organize all your bookmarks and give them special titles to ensure that things were easy to locate. The issue with this "bookmarking" system is that things can quickly get jumbled and you soon end up with a massive list of bookmarks and folders, creating quite a headache when you need to find something.
Pinterest has taken that concept of "saving things" and made it a much more streamlined and organized experience. Instead of "bookmarking" things you now just "pin them" via a special button that you can install into your web-browser from the community's website. Once pinned, they show up on your own specialized page.
You can then set captions for them and even write a little blurb to remind you about why you may have been so interested in them in the first place. That way, if time passes and you "forget" about a specific object, Pinterest will be there to remind you about it.
The best part of the website is that it is totally free to use. You simply sign up, install the "pin button" and you're off to the races to collect everything and anything you find interesting across the world wide web. You'll also get access to a variety of organizational tools that can help you to "customize" your Pinterest page and truly make it your own creation.
But it isn't just about pinning the things you like to remind yourself about them, Pinterest is also a full-fledged social media website that allows you to share your favorite things with other users. You can choose to make your "pin-board" public, which will showcase it to other users across the Pinterest community. These users can then comment on the item you have pinned, much like users can comment on a status on Facebook. You can also "like" other people's pins and add them to your own board.
These are the basics of how Pinterest operates, but developers have worked hard to make the website much more than just a "virtual pin board."
What can Pinterest be used for?
That's just the thing. Pinterest may just seem like a "collecting tool", but due to interface it can actually be used quite well as a planner.
Have you ever tried to redecorate a room? How about your entire home? Redecorating can be a serious pain in the neck, especially when you are trying to match colors and patterns. You'll usually end up bouncing back and forth between web pages to see if multiple objects appear to mesh well together. Pinterest makes it much easier to see all of your redecorating ideas on one simple palette.
When you pin a fabric, idea, or "color" you can see it side by side with other objects on your pin board. This makes it much easier to discover matching items and sets. This is also true for clothing. Pinterest gives you a "mock dressing room," helping you to discover and create new clothing styles.
What about a massive event like a wedding? A virtual pin-board is perfect for handling your special day. Culminating all of the things you're interested in like flowers, decorations, clothing, and even foods will ensure that your big day is not only streamlined but matches perfectly to your tastes. This can take the headache and worry away from planning and will save you from having to have one of those incredibly bulky and overstuffed "binders."
And on the subject of food, Pinterest is there to help you satiate your culinary desires. Whether you're a chef, an amateur cook, or just sick of take-out, the pin- board can help to store a mass of different recipes and food lists, No longer will you have to print-out or search through endless bookmarks to find something new for dinner. You can even search through others' pin-boards to find inspiration from their favorite foods.
In fact, the social media aspect of Pinterest almost makes it more like a "review site" than a community. You can pin practically anything, and that allows to you comment and receive comments on practically anything. A lot of individuals are using Pinterest like a blog, by pinning their favorite places to eat and vacation and then writing little "review blurbs" for other users. Looking for a hotel to stay in during your next out of town trip? There are hundreds of thousands already on Pinterest from other users and probably with a slew of "review like" comments.
When you really sit down and take a good look at Pinterest, you'll notice that it is much more than just a pin-board. You'll be amazed how many things you can pin and when you start to develop your own board, you'll realize that there are endless possibilities for what you can use the website.
Pinterest for iPad and iPhone
Pinterest isn't just a web phenomenon either; it's also a full-fledged iOS application. Like the website, this mobile app won't cost you a dime and it opens up the ability to use Pinterest from literally anywhere, as long as you have 3G or wireless access. You will also get a few unique features specific to the application.
The key is the layout. The mobile version of Pinterest is tailored for iOS devices and smartphones, so it's going to look a bit different from the web version. The first thing you'll notice is that everything is streamlined and easily accessible. At the bottom of the screen you'll see a set of buttons. These icons act as the menu and can be accessed regardless of where you are within the app. One shortcut takes you to your "following page", which shows you all of the individuals you are currently following. From there you can view their boards and comment on their pins.
You can easily follow an individual by clicking the "follow me" button that shows up on any of their boards. Another shortcut will let you "explore." This is a neat way to find specific things you are looking for or to just explore others' boards freely. The "activity" button shows you recent activity, including things you have pinned, people you have followed, and other recent statistics. The "profile" icon allows you to edit information on your personal profile to give others an idea of who you are and what you like.
Another icon you might notice is the "camera." This button is specific to smartphones and iOS devices that have a camera. If you use this feature and take a photo of something, it will automatically "pin it." This lets you share your feelings about products, locations, and events on the fly and anyone following you will get "real time updates" whenever you post something.
Viewing other people's boards is incredibly easy and organized in the application. Whenever you locate an individual, it will let you know how many boards they have, how many things they have pinned, and will also give you a small profile to view which will tell you more about them. You'll also get to see how many followers that person has and how many individuals are following them.
Pinterest isn't just popular because it allows us to quickly share our favorite things; it's also popular because it seems to be a hybrid of some of the more prominent social media websites on the internet. You have the ability to post comments like Facebook, you can follow and be followed just as you can in Twitter, and you can quickly share photos of things you love like in Instagram. Pinterest is the ultimate social media experience and developers have created something not only addictive, but useful and practical.
Hopefully this has given you some insight into what Pinterest is and how it works. If you haven't signed up, I would highly recommend doing so. I can guarantee you'll end up discovering a mass of new products, locations, and information.
Loved the post.
I have never heard of the camera aspect. Awesome!!