I’ll admit, I was a Pinterest skeptic.
After being lured in by social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, StumbleUpon, and so on, only to be disappointed by their lack of individuality, I wasn’t very “Pinterested”.
All the popular social networking sites that are so intertwined with our everyday lives have lost their ability to connect people with one another. Instead, they are used mostly as tools to self-promote. For me, most of the social networks that I’ve joined have distanced me from my friends instead of connecting me to them. I noticed that some of the users on these sites are competing for likes, re-tweets, reposts, comments, followers, and even friends. The content being projected was not based on their internal beliefs, opinions, or interests but on the interests of the public that was watching them.
I could not understand the hype over Pinterest for the life of me. I felt that it would be more or less like all the other social networking sites, but I was wrong. I was determined to see how Pinterest set itself apart from the others. After browsing countless pin boards on fashion, food, photography, travel, and architecture, I noticed the difference and I became a believer.
The website is very straightforward and easy to use. Pinterest users, also known as “Pinners”, have boards that they organize by themes and topics. They then collect images from all over the web that inspire them or pique their interests and pin them on their boards using a “pin it” bookmark button.
For those individuals that are more visual than wordy, Pinterest is almost all images with pretty fonts and short descriptions. It allows you to curate and organize ideas while creating boards of inspiration that you can later turn into reality.
If you’re interested in fashion, food, photography; there’s a board for that! You will be able to find countless food recipes, fashion outfit ideas, and pictures of beautiful scenery in seconds when browsing through others’ pin boards. If you love what you find, you can “repin” those images onto your own pin-board, leave comments and ideas for the Pinner that had initially posted them and go straight to the source to see where those images were taken from and how they can be added to your own personalcollection. There is so much you can do with this site!
So there’s the difference. Pinterest is a social networking site that does not focus on the individual person but instead on their interests, their goals, their aspirations and motivations. Pinterest allows people to connect with one another through the things they love and are interested in instead of who they portray themselves to be. Pinterest users don’t self-promote; they share, and organize their ideas to help others find inspiration through their boards. Pinterest connects people through what they have in common.
If you would like to join this growing community, make sure you already know somebody who is on the inside; you do need to be invited! (Another really cool twist.) You can also ask for an invite on the Pinterest site but you may have to wait a while before you are given the “go ahead” to start pinning. Once you’ve started though, it will all be worthwhile.
If Pinterest continues to stay true to itself, it will continue to attract new users and create a community that will stand apart from the rest.