Do you check Facebook several times in an hour? Is every thought or action of yours documented immediately via Twitter? How many blogs do you have? Have you recently jumped on the Linkedin bandwagon and become a networking fiend? Are all of your pictures uploaded on Flickr? If these apply to you, then you’ve probably already found Pinterest, the newest social networking obsession.
Pinterest is easy to use, easy to share, and visually pleasing. A bit confusing at first, the site describes itself as a place for users to “organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.” A Pinboard could be anything, from fashion to inspirational quotes to pictures of cute animals, it’s completely up to the user as to how to personalize based on individual interests.
As one of Time Magazine‘s 50 best websites of 2011, Pinterest makes it easy for users by employing a “Pin It” button that can be downloaded to a bookmarks bar. This allows users to pin while surfing the internet. If an image is spotted while on your favorite blog, just press the Pin It button and a window pops up, allowing you to pick which of your boards (you can maintain several) you would like it to be pinned to and two write a short description. With ties to other sites like Facebook and Twitter, your pins can be viewed not just by other Pinterest users, but your Facebook friends and Twitter followers as well.
Unlike other popular social networking sites however, Pinterest requires an invitation to join. Potential pinners can request an invitation easily, but may have to wait several days for acceptance. Still, according to Tech Crunch, the site still has 1.5 active facebook users as is quite a successful “self-expression engine”.
According to Shape magazine, research has shown the effectiveness of creating vision boards to inspire people to attain goals or lead healthy lifestyles. Pinning items that remind you of the things that make you happy or that you desire can keep you focused on leading the life you want. Want to be more put together when you dress? Make a fashion pinboard in which you might collect outfit ideas and images of clothes you wish to buy at some point. Pin images of people whose style you admire. Too tired to cook at the end of the day? Pin photos of artfully arranged meals or easy-to-cook recipes may inspire you to find your inner chef at the day’s end. Wondering how you can better organize your ideas for an upcoming event or keep track of ideas for the home? Make a pinboard.
Pinterest allows you to “repin” the pins of other users that catch your eye. Much like other sites, it allows you to “like” and comment. Despite the overabundance of sites designed for sharing with others, Pinterest makes it quite easy and accessible to get a better idea of the true likes and interests of your friends. Mashable Business claims that Pinterest is “just as much about the users as it is what they’ve posted”, making it worth your time to check out and subsequently become obsessed.
Photos by bryanlanders and Thea N. via flickr.