The 21st century saw several social networking Web sites swamping the Internet. And the latest to have taken the world by storm is Pinterest, an online bulletin board that's growing faster than any other interactive site.
Co-founded by Ben Silbermann in 2009, Pinterest was launched with a poor start, gathering only 10,000 users in its first nine months, CNN reported. Instead of calling it a day, Silbermann took to improving the site, based on feedback from early users. The California-based 16-employee startup has now attained over 11 million monthly unique users for its Web site since then, making it the fastest growing site to cross the 10 million mark in history, Associated Press said.
According to the news service, Pinterest has particularly attracted the women population, who make up 85 percent of the traffic on the Web site. These women apparently use the Web site to share photos and tips ranging anything from home-décor to organizing a wedding. All in all, Pinterest is a great tool to influence buying decisions and a place where one can find inspiration for real-life activities.
To me, boards are a very human way of seeing the world, he said. It [Pinterest] is about helping people to discover things they didn't know they wanted -- things that feel like they've been handpicked just for you, Silbermann was quoted as saying to CNN.
The CEO also announced that the company was developing a Pinterest app for the iPad as part of the Web site's platform expansion.
So how exactly can users make use of Pinterest, considered the next best thing since Facebook and Twitter? For starters, first time users can't register unless invited by friends already registered on the Web site or by the Pinterest Web site itself. Users are also required to have a Facebook or Twitter account in order to complete the registration process.
Once done, users can start populating the board with various online media, access media items or 'pins' posted by others as well as 're-pin' the liked items to one's own user board. As in any other social network, users can comment upon various pins, tag other users and share pins by linking their Facebook and Twitter accounts. Users can also get access to real-time updates of the people they're following. Besides following every single activity or pin posted by a user, one can also follow individual boards based on interests.
While companies and businesses haven't started using Pinterest as yet, the Website is expected to gradually catch up. According to Tech Crunch, five major brands have already made their way to the Web site, most of which have a growing follower base. Better Homes & Gardens, an online magazine, boasts over 25,000 followers on Pinterest.
The Wall Street Journal observed that although the Web site traffic has risen exponentially over the past couple of months, the start-up is yet to implement monetization strategies. Silbermann, according to report, is believed to be following Mark Zuckerberg's and Jack Dorsey's approach, both of whom didn't have a business model with which to start their companies.