Pinterest, a photo sharing website, was first launched back in 2010 but has gained immense popularity in recent months. It is something that pops up on many a person’s Facebook ticker or on their Twitter, with friends “pinning” an image. For a long time, I had no desire to submit to whatever this “Pinterest” creation was. I was skeptical, and frankly, social media takes over my life enough as it is. Did I really need one more thing on which to waste my time? Eventually, however, I decided to give it a try just for the sake of seeing what Pinterest was all about.
After waiting oh-so-anxiously for 48 hours to receive my “invitation” from Pinterest to become a member, I was finally on board. At first glance, it reeks of a newer, more modern Tumblr. Skinny girls, food porn, and memes, oh my. And abs. Abs galore. Looking past this, I was able to discover what makes this website different from other websites like Tumblr.
Sure, both Pinterest and Tumblr have the options to “pin” or “post” an image, as well as “repin” or “reblog” one from someone else. Much of the picture content is relatively the same, but Pinterest has a slightly more mature feeling compared to Tumblr’s picture content and user base. Like Tumblr, users can follow each other to see what each person is pinning. But users can also select specific categories of types of images they want to appear their home page for easier browsing.
A major benefit of Pinterest is that users can pin pictures from other various websites when not on the actual Pinterest website. Also, the ability to select categories for one’s pinboard so that the images show up in a collection with others they’ve pinned is helpful. Users can even create their own pinboards, consisting of any kind of image or idea to start it. For those like myself who like making lists and organizing things into categories, Pinterest offers the perfect opportunity to do so but in a social media setting.
So while I ventured onto this website out of sheer curiosity, I now can see what all the hype was about. Yes, Pinterest is very similar to half of the other social media platforms out there today, but it differs just enough to have its own unique feel and purpose. As a user, what attracted me the most to it was the ability to categorize pins into clear-cut groups to have for future reference. Whether it’s planning a party and making delicious recipes or desperately needing to find a new pair of summer sandals, users can find and organize any of their interests.
I entered the website being completely Pinterest-illiterate, but I now feel as though I am a pro-pinner–a feat anyone can easily achieve.