Pinterest is the new kid on the block in photo sharing social networking. According to comScore, Pinterest reported 11 million visits each week in December 2011, and 11.7 million users by January 2012. It initially launched in December 2010.
Pinterest’s mission is to “connect everyone in the world through the 'things' they find interesting.” A good description is virtual scrapbooking.
To start, go to www.pinterest.com and register for an account. It takes a few days to hear back that your request has turned into an invite. You link your Facebook or Twitter accounts to your Pinterest account to ease connection between your major social networks. Then you can use the regular or mobile Pinterest Websites or iPhone app to manage your pins.
A set of pins makes up a photo board. You determine the themes you want for your photo boards. As you discover photos or media on websites, you “Pin It” to fill in your boards. You can also upload your own photos and media. The “Pin It” button is a bookmarklet which is on www.pinterest.com. As you add a pin, you can share it on Facebook and Twitter.
Following best practices for social networks, Pinterest users can follow other Pinterest users. You can “invite friends”, “follow” or “like” others. The right side of the page shows you the “Pin Feed” of these individuals. You can “follow all” of a user’s pins on all their boards or you can follow individual boards. Never fear that you’re committed for good. “Unfollow” is an option and they need never know.
So to pin or not to pin? I’m just beginning with Pinterest for my personal use and have been pin-happy for a few days. That zeal will fade I suspect. I’m also considering establishing a Pinterest account for a nonprofit organization and see great potential for it to increase awareness.