Pinterest is an outlet created for many different types of people. It was jump started by a company called “Cold Brew Labs” that focuses on online shopping (Andersen, 2016). They were on a mission to innovate the online shopping world, while also incorporating other aspects. Pinterest is known mostly for being a source for creativity and shopping, but it actually functions in many ways. There are a wide variety of topics showcased. It is a website and also available as an app in the App Store. The website is designed to showcase “pins” that it believes the user would be most interested in. A “pin” is essentially a “post” or “repost” of something you want to share. The website uses a formula to pick pins based on previous searches, accounts you follow, previous pins you post and pins that you click on when scrolling through the website. The pins you post go into different “pin boards” or groups. A “pin board” is a grouping of similar “pins” that are categorized and arranged by the individual user. Pinterest’s pin boards allow you to keep all your ideas and interests organized. This way all your ideas are easy to assess and organized in a way that is compatible for whatever your needs are. A lot of people have boards based on projects or design ideas. You follow people like you do on other popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. This brings the website to a different level from previous shopping sites, or how-to sites. The ability to share ideas and items of what you like immediately to your friends and the rest of the Pinterest world adds more of a communication aspect. In the early stages of launching the website, it focused mainly on DIY (Do-It-Yourself) projects and recipes. Another big aspect of Pinterest is their health section. Losing weight is always a topic in the media, especially for women. Pinterest has countless information available about nutrition and exercise.The exercising examples are usually condensed to make it more inviting and make it seem more doable for the everyday person. Pinterest continues to increase their variety of how-to videos and instructions. However, the website later changed to fit a more diverse audience. It is still a female dominated website, with 85% of its users being female, though there has shown to be an increase in male users (Smith, 2016, p. 1). Pinterest shows its dominance of the female market with the statistic that 42% of online adult women in the United States use it (Smith, 2016, p. 1). The site attempts to broaden its audience with the wide array of content. There are 36 suggested categories and searches that range from Design, Education and Animals to Men’s Fashion, Tattoos and Humor. If the categories suggested aren’t exactly what you are looking for, there is a search bar where you can find just about anything. The usage of this site for shopping has become a major aspect in further development. Shopping on Pinterest rather than other sites allows the user to look at many different items and brands all at once. Instead of looking through a bunch of sites, Pinterest shows the most popular brands and items all in one place. However, if the pins are too broad, you can always narrow your search by typing in specifically what you are looking for. Pinterest can be a source for high-end shoppers all the way to bargain hunters, or a mixture of both. I personally like to stay updated on what is popular and new with my favorite brands, which is easy to do with the layout of Pinterest.
The widening audience of Pinterest has made it easier to pin from anywhere online or on the go. It is a fun way to pass time with minimal thinking when I have free time or traveling. Also many websites now include the option to pin something straight from another website onto your Pinterest page. Different companies use Pinterest to advertise their products and ideas. I recently noticed on a Nilla Wafers box, by Nabisco, the Pinterest icon on the top and bottom of the box. They were encouraging people to follow them and find out more about their product and different ways to use them. Pinterest is a great choice for companies like Nabisco because recipes are a major draw for users. Pinterest was originally used mostly for household topics such as recipes, decorating and home projects. I added a couple of pictures that I took below to show you the clever use of Pinterest to advertise their product.
The layout of the website versus the app vary slightly, but still have the same functions. There are tabs that help the user navigate the website. The tabs include a search bar, a tab for your account page with your boards, a tab for notifications about your pins and your followers, and a tab for your home page with suggested pins. I took a picture of each layout from my personal account to show the comparison between the website and the app. The picture on the right is of the website and the one on the left is a screenshot of the app version. You can see that both have the same look with just slight modifications to fit the domain better.
As the site gained more users, changes were bound to take place. Pinterest has adapted to what users liked most about the site and new features that allow users to be more involved. There has recently been a new feature that allows users to link to their other social media accounts. If you want to share a pin to your friends through other sites such as Facebook or Twitter, it is now available. There is even a choice to send a text message directly from the site. There is also a new option to “like” a pin. There used to only be the option to pin something, but with the new “liking” option, the user can save the pin without putting it in one of their boards. Pinterest was able to keep up to date with new features, while keeping the simplicity that welcomes all ages. Many social media sites don’t reach all ages with appeal, but Pinterest is something even my Nana does. She is always sending me pins of new recipes and different tips for various things she thinks I should know. I love that I can connect with my friends and family through this site. The app and website are easy to navigate and very user friendly.
Pinterest also added another level of communication when creating new features. In addition to individually sending pins to your friends, you can now just send messages. This is a great way to plan projects and swap ideas with your friends, family, roommates or whoever. This feature now allows you to write longer messages to go with the pins you pick out for your followers and friends. Along with sharing ideas, Pinterest is a great way to see what your friends are interested in. It is a great source for gift shopping when it comes to birthdays and holidays. You can pick something straight from someone’s board and buy it through the linked pin or just use it to get ideas of a person’s style and go from there. I use it all the time to get ideas for my sister’s birthdays. It’s a guaranteed good gift since they basically picked it out themselves! I hope you learned a little bit more than you already knew about Pinterest and keep pinning!
Andersen, D. (2016). The Evolution of Pinterest’s Incubator: Cold Brew Labs. Startup Grind powered by Google Entrepreneurs. Retrieved from https://www.startupgrind.com/blog/the-evolution-of-pinterests-incubator-cold-brew-labs/
Smith, C. (2016). Pinterest Statistics and Facts. DMR. Retrieved from http://expandedramblings.com/index.php/pinterest-stats/