The way we plan our lives and communicate with each other has changed considerably over the last 20 years or so. The internet has revolutionised the way we interact and share experiences with family, friends, work colleagues, and people we don’t know.
Social networking sites such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter have all become part of our daily online routine. Even the business community has got in on the act to with LinkedIn, which now has over 200 million users.
But one site that really took off in 2012 was Pinterest. At the start of the year it was relatively unknown, but by the summer more was being heard about it and by the autumn Pinterest had 25.3 million unique visitors.
So what is Pinterest and why is it proving so popular?
Launched in 2010, the best way to think of Pinterest is as the modern day version of the scrapbook you had as a child. Like a virtual magpie you can seek out things on the internet that you find interesting and ‘pin’ them to your own site. It provides us with a window into each other’s lives through image and video.
Pinterest lets users organise collections of images from across the web under different boards or categories, whether that is fashion, arts and crafts, or cooking. These boards and pins can then be liked and shared by other users who are looking for inspiration.
At one time access to the site was restricted to invitation only, but this has been lifted and now anyone can visit the site and find inspiration. The site is more widely used by females than males. This is probably unsurprising when you consider that as children, boys are less likely to use scrapbooks than girls.
What sort of inspiration can it provide?
The sky really is the limit. If you browse through the site you’ll see that ideas range from the mundane to the zany. If you’re planning an event or a wedding there is plenty of inspiration for invitations, decorations, gifts, cakes and much more.
Perhaps it’s ideas for work lunches you’re after, would you have thought of a salad in a jar? Or why not give your old photographs a modern up to date twist by remaking them – simply take the people who feature in them back to the location and capture the scene again. The site can also provide product inspiration by throwing up a wider range of ideas than a normal Google search.
Can businesses benefit?
The simple answer is yes. Because Pinterest allows people to pin items to the site that they’ve found on other websites and these are linked back to the original source. For example, if you saw a piece of furniture on someone’s Pinterest board that you liked, you could click on the image and it would take you to the original source, such as John Lewis, where you could then buy the piece of furniture.
Originally the site only allowed personal accounts, but recently it introduced business accounts to allow businesses to better engage with their Pinterest audience. Pinterest has also produced a set of guidelines to help businesses provide relevant content to the site’s users and not just bombard them with product advertising.
If your business is planning an office redesign, looking to build a new website, organising an event, or just looking for some creative ideas, Pinterest can provide plenty of inspiration.
So visit Pinterest, find inspiration and get pinning; it’s much safer than scissors and glue!