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what is Pinterest.com?

what is Pinterest.com?

Postby admin » Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:28 pm

Pinterest is a pinboard-style social photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies and more. Users can browse other pinboards for inspiration, 're-pin' images to their own collections and/or 'like' photos. Pinterest's mission is to "connect everyone in the world through the 'things' they find interesting"[3] via a global platform of inspiration and idea sharing. Pinterest allows its users to share 'pins' on both Twitter and Facebook, which allows users to share and interact with a broad community.[citation needed] Founded by Ben Silbermann, of West Des Moines, Iowa,[4] the site is managed by Cold Brew Labs and funded by a small group of entrepreneurs and inventors. It is one of the “fastest growing social services in the world.”[5]

Founder Ben Silbermann (left) at the South By Southwest Interactive conference in March 2012.
Development of Pinterest began in December 2009, and the site launched as a closed beta in March 2010. The site proceeded to operate in invitation-only open beta.

Co-founder Ben Silbermann said he personally wrote to the site's first 5,000 users offering his personal phone number and even meeting with some of its users. Nine months after launch the website had 10,000 users. Silbermann and a few programmers operated the site out of a small apartment until the summer of 2011.[6]

On August 16, 2011, Time magazine listed Pinterest in its "50 Best Websites of 2011" article.[7] Pinterest is similar to earlier social, image bookmarking systems based on the same principle, such as David Galbraith's 2005 project Wists.[8]

The Pinterest app for iPhone was last updated in February 2012,[9] and an iPad app is currently in-development.[6] Pinterest Mobile, launched September 2011, is the version of website for non-iPhone users.[10]

In December 2011, the site became one of the top 10 largest social network services, according to Hitwise data, with 11 million total visits per week.[11] The next month, it drove more referral traffic to retailers than LinkedIn, YouTube, and Google+.[12][13] The same month, the company was named the best new startup of 2011 by TechCrunch.[14] Noted entrepreneurs and investors include: Jack Abraham, Michael Birch, Scott Belsky, Brian Cohen, Shana Fisher, Ron Conway, FirstMark Capital, Kevin Hartz, Jeremy Stoppelman, Hank Vigil, and Fritz Lanman.

In January 2012 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.[15] Pinterest's wide reach helped it achieve an average of 11 million visits each week in December 2011. Most of the site's users are female, with 97% of the site's Facebook "likes" being made by women.

At the South By Southwest Interactive conference in March 2012, Silbermann announced revamped profile pages were being developed and would be implemented soon.[6]

On March 23, 2012 Pinterest unveiled updated terms of service that eliminated the policy that gave it the right to sell its user's content.[16] The terms would go into effect April 6.[17]

According to Experian Hitwise the site became the 3rd largest social network in the US in March 2012, surpassing Linkedin and Tagged[18]

Co-founder Paul Sciarra left his position at Pinterest in April 2012 for a consulting job as entrepreneur in residence at Andreessen Horowitz.[19]

[edit]User base

The site has been popular with American women and, in 2012, it was reported that 83% of the U.S. users were women. In Britain, however, 56% of the user were male and their age profile was different too, being about 10 years younger than in the U.S., where the age range was typically 35-44.[20]

In January 2012 comScore reported the site had 11.7 million unique U.S. visitors, making it the fastest site ever to break through the 10 million unique visitor mark.[15] comScore recorded a unique users moving average growth of 85% from mid-January to mid-February and a 17% growth from mid-February to mid-March.[21]


Pinterest users can upload, save, sort and manage images, known as pins, and other media content (ie. videos) through collections known as pinboards.[22] Pinboards are generally themed so that pins can easily be organized, categorized and discovered by other users. Pinterest acts as a personalized media platform, whereby your own content as well as anyone elses uploaded pins can be browsed on the main page. Users can then save their favourite pins to one of their own boards using the “Pin It” button. Content can also be found outside of Pinterest and similarly uploaded to a board via the “Pin It” button which can be downloaded to the bookmark bar on a web browser.[23]

There are several ways to register a new Pinterest account. Potential users can either receive an invitation from a friend already registered, or request an invitation directly from the Pinterest website. An account can also be created and accessed by linking Pinterest to a Facebook or Twitter profile. When a user re-posts or “re-pins” an image to their own board, they have the option of notifying their Facebook and Twitter followers; this feature can be managed on the settings page.[24] Users that choose to log into Pinterest via Facebook must currently be using Facebook's "Timeline" format.[25][26]

On the main Pinterest page, a "pin feed" appears, displaying the chronological activity from the pinterest boards that a user follows.[27] When browsing for new boards and relevant pins, users can visit a "Tastemakers" page that recommend pinboards with content similar to previous pins saved by a user.[22] For both guests and Pinterest users, there are currently four main sections to browse: everything, videos, popular and gifts. These subcategories provide an organized system of browsing, which helps fellow users to connect and share interests.

Quick links to Pinterest include the "pin it" button that can be added to the bookmark bar of a web browser, "Follow me" and "Pin it" buttons added to personal website or blog page,[23] and the Pinterest iPhone application available through the App Store.[28]

The website has proven especially popular among women.[29]

In March of 2012, law enforcement is using Pinterest to reach new audiences beginning with the Kansas City Police Department in Missouri.[30]


Pinterest was first conceptualized in December 2009 by co-founders Ben Silbermann and Paul Sciarra. The first prototype was launched in March 2010 where it was available to a small group of colleagues and family members.[31] Since its inception three years ago, it has developed into a well-funded site financially supported by a group of successful entrepreneurs and investors including: FirstMark Capital, Jack Abraham (Milo), Michael Birch (Bebo), Scott Belsky (Behance), Shana Fisher (Highline Venture Partners), Ron Conway (SV Angel), Kevin Hartz (EventBrite), Jeremy Stoppelman (Yelp), Hank Vigil, Fritz Lanman, and Brian S. Cohen.”[32] As Pinterest continues to grow and develop, so does its business opportunity as a promising marketing platform, especially in terms of data collection for retail companies and marketing strategists.

In early 2011, the company secured a $10 million USD Series A financing led by Jeremy Levine of Bessemer Venture Partners. In October 2011, the company secured $27 million USD in funding from Andreessen Horowitz, which valued the company at $200 million USD.[33] Pinterest has received further funding from Andreessen Horowitz in the form of a Series B investment valued at $37.5 million USD.[34] Pinterest currently uses the Skimlinks server to generate income by modifying users' affiliate links to commercial sites. This works by replacing the original affiliate tracking code with Pinterest's tracking code, where any payment is passed to Pinterest instead of the original affiliate.[35][36]

In other words, Pinterest receives a portion of the sale when a user purchases an item since Pinterest connects (seamlessly through Skimlinks) users directly to the company’s commercial website. Unfortunately the model “does not seem to add up to a major amount of money, because a large majority of posts originate from Tumblr and Facebook, and are not commercial products."[37]

Scott Brave sees Pinterest as an ideal environment to collect affinity data; a resource that holds the potential for substantial demand and income.[38] This data “reveals valuable relationships between consumer behaviours, products and content”,[39] where it can be collected and sold as marketing analysis [39] Retail companies have taken advantage of Pinterest for advertising and style trending. The web design provides an ideal layout for “style conscious retailers",[40] where products can easily be visualized within a consumer context. Companies like The Gap, Chobani, Nordstrom and West Elm use Pinterest as a tool for online referrals that link users with similar interests to a company.[40] The Gap has arguably taken the biggest initiative in their use of Pinterest, employing their own themed pinboards such as “Denim Icons” and “Everybody in Gap”.[40]
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