A few weeks ago, I finally joined Pinterest after seeing the name of this virtual pinboard join the ranks of Facebook and Twitter on people’s websites. Surprisingly, I took an immediate liking to it, with its intuitive and easy-to-use interface.
Pinterest is a nicely packaged solution to a common problem I’ve had in the past with bookmarking. After I bookmark a page in my browser or on Evernote, I very rarely actually re-visit these pages. Maybe they’re really not as interesting as I initially thought, or the concept of “out of sight, out of mind” applies. Pinterest takes the simple, traditional idea of a pin board (when have I ever actually used one in real life? Maybe once, or twice, in the 90’s) and translates it to fit our digital lifestyles on the intarwebz.
Historically, Tumblr has been the platform of choice for visual-centric niches – namely, anything related to design or fashion. Pinterest’s method of collating “pinned” images in sets and collections makes it so much easier to browse through chunks of them without needing to scroll forever or press “next 5” x 100. The ability to create different board is fantastic for those of us who are OCD about organization :) And overall, it’s a great place to discover new ideas and find inspiration, although the popular ones do get repeated quite often.
One of my favorite aspects of individual pin pages is that they reference 1. who you repinned from (if applicable) and 2. the original source of the image. No more clicking through seemingly endless trails of reblogs a la Tumblr, only to arrive at the original post and find that there’s no source listed /fail
Naturally, there’s still plenty of room for improvement – for example, it’s difficult to find new people to follow. While they provide suggestions when you sign up based on the list of interests you provide, it’s not very easy to find new people after that. A separate recommendations section based on pins that you’ve liked/repinned or people you already follow would be helpful in this instance.
It’ll be interesting to see how brands utilize this service – it’d be silly for them to not take advantage of targeting such a concentrated group of users with overlapping interests in design, decoration, crafts, cooking, traveling… and the list could go on and on.
TL;DR: Pinterest has won me over – I’m a fan!