Pinterest Takes Social Networking To A Different Place, the Fun Zone!

The Internet has exploded with social networking sites.  Facebook and Twitter led this charge.  No longer a new concept, however, newer startups are incorporating elements that social networking web sites can offer.  The 2010 Palo Alto, CA startup Pinterest is one of these.  Whereas Facebook and Twitter are arguably forums for self-promotion and opinion, Pinterest is about using images as a way of expressing interest in different subjects and things.

So What Is Pinterest And What Makes It Fun?

Pinterest’s main focus is allowing users to share images, movie clips, quotes, or whatever. Or, to cite the company’s mission statement, “to connect people with the things they find interesting.”

An open space on the Internet could illicit different kinds of responses, both good and bad.  But the company states quite clearly that no nudity, racial, or defamatory imagery are allowed on the site. The site is not about anyone’s agenda. Plus, that would detract of image sharing and commenting on them, which is what the company wants its users to do.

All the company asks is that users be respectful and to credit sources with a link back to the original source.  This statement serves two purposes: protect the company and its users from copyright infringement.  Of course, users have an option to upload pictures from their own computers, so this crediting idea may be a bit difficult to track.

So How Does Pinterest Work

After quickly creating an account, the “Pin It” button install to their allows the user to click this button when he sees an image he likes while browsing the Internet.  From there, the user can add it to a “board” the user has titled.  The user can create as many boards as he likes.

A Pinterest user can also “Repin” an image, which means that while he is browsing images on the web site, he can pin it to his own board with a comment.  What this means is that you end-up “Following” the person who posted the image.  From there, if that user creates another board, you will be a follower of that board as well.  Of course, Pinterest allows Facebook and Twitter sharing and for the user to make friends, just as on the above sites.

So Is Pinterest a Success?

When the Pinterest launched it created a lot of buzz.  So far the company has lived-up to the buzz and press it has received and has become a variation on the social networking idea, but one that doesn’t require as much from the user as Facebook or Twitter.  Furthermore, the content is constantly changing on the web site. If Pinterest decides, consequently, to start using advertisement funding or charging for affiliate links, it can only mean the company will be profitable.  But how long will the public stay interested in this virtual scrapbook idea until something similar or better comes along?