inspiration. How Pinteresting! Social Media in the Form of an Online Pinboard
Pinterest.com Promotes Inspiration Through Visual Sharing
So what is Pinterest, you ask?
Pinterest, the by-invite-only visual social sharing network fueled by image curation, has seen out
standing growth since its launch in March 2010. By December 2011 the site entered the ranks as one of the top 10 social networks, according to Hitwise data, with 11 million total visits per week. Most recently, ComScore reported the site had 11.7 million unique users, making it the fastest site in history to break through the 10 million unique visitor mark.
The brainchild of Paul Sciarra, Evan Sharp and Ben Silbermann, Pinterest’s mission is to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting. The screengrabs, infographics, cartoons, and visual inspirational quotes that sometimes make their way to Facebook find a true home with Pinterest. Members are encouraged to pin, organize, share, and sort all the individual visual pieces of internet ephemera to create a kind of collective stream of visual memos.
As their on-boarding email says, “Pinterest is as much about discovering new things as it is about sharing. Topics that are fantastical and immensely practical are equally at home on Pinterest.”
It all starts with a photo. But instead of presenting one photo at a time, Pinterest photos or “pins” gain context from being sorted by their pinners into “boards” of similar items or concepts for presentation.
The active members of Pinterest browse, pin, and re-pin as a fun way to discover new things that are interesting and relevant and draw inspiration from people who share similar interests. Members capture visual images that surface in their web wanderings, almost as though they are whiling away time in an aspirational or dreaming way.
If all of a sudden you begin to recall your adolescent days when you would skim through your favorite magazines to tear out pictures or quotes that spoke to you, your are on to something! Pinterest taps into that same human trait of dreaming through the activity of sorting that already exists in real life, from brides dog-earing bridal magazines, to interior designers collecting fabric swatches and paint samples. The Pinterest platform allows a whirlwind of sharing activity to materialize in a collective way. The results are intensely visual and equally as engaging.