We’ve all been captivated as social mediums like Twitter, YouTube and Facebook battle it out for superiority, but another social network has been quietly rising in popularity – Pinterest. Let’s take a look at what it is, why you might want it and how you can create your own.
So what exactly is Pinterest?
Descriptions for Pinterest vary from “visual social bookmarking” to a “picture based Twitter”. In essence it’s a platform that lets you collect and collate images (“pins”) from the web or your own files into different collections of topics/ideas (“boards”). You can also follow other people’s accounts or boards and comment, like or “repin” things that interest you.
Why do I want it?
If you have a wedding to plan; want to share the delicious food creations you create; or are even just looking for an online haven to keep all of your cute cat macros; Pinterest is a great service to meet your needs. You can search and follow friend’s boards (or entire accounts) as you would with Facebook or Twitter, or look for other boards based around specific interests to give you some inspiration for new projects.
How do I get it?
Since it’s quite new still, Pinterest requires you to put in a request for an invitation to the site. Alternatively, you can get a current member to send you an invite. This may change as the service grows and develops (much like Google+ did), but it’s still worth putting in a request now if you want to check it out.
How do I use it?
So you’ve been lucky enough to get your invite, what do you do now? Well you can create an account using an existing email address (and setup a password for Pinterest), or you can usual social connect features to sign in with an existing Twitter or Facebook account.
Once you’ve created this new account, you’ll be given some suggestions for basic boards, which you can always edit later as well. However some good advice is to start off by following people before you post. Follow some friends and maybe some other boards you’re interested in or just take a few minutes and search “everything” to see what everyone else is “pinning”.
When you’re ready, start Pinning! If you want, you can make images out of your own Pins and add descriptions; however Pinterest also works well as a social bookmarking service. Using the provided “Pin It” button/bookmark, you can grab images from any websites and add them directly to one of your boards. This button also makes sure to grab the link so credit is still applied to the original creator.
In keeping with the social theme, don’t forget you can like or comment on another person’s pins as well as repin someone else’s content to your own boards.
Some final tips!
It’s recommended to use the provided tools when sharing on other sites to keep the credit to the original source intact. As with all social mediums, polite and courteous attitudes are definitely the way to go. Also make sure that anything you pin doesn’t breach copyright and contains a link or information about the original source.
If you find someone with interesting content, Pinterest gives you the option of following the entire account (everything they pin) or you can choose to follow only the specific boards that interest you.
Now that you’re armed with a bit of knowledge on Pinterest, go ahead, get involved.