It’s hard to understand how a visual bookmarking site can gain mass popularity, make a considerable impression on the web design world and begin to drive more traffic than Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn combined, all while remaining in the Beta development stage. Much like the Google model of Beta, you still need an invite to this world of inspiration and interest.
Welcome to Pinterest. A site that turns web content into pin boards, made by you.
It lets you organise and share the inspiring things that you find on the web into a virtual pinboard. It might not be obvious at first how useful this can be, let alone how addictive. “People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes,” says the site. It works by turning the web into mini post-it style pieces that are categorized, searchable and collectable. There is a wealth of image-led inspiration. When collected they make pinboards that are updated, shared and followed. What interests me most is the idea of collecting inspiration. Think moodboards that are digitized and available wherever you are. Another feature allows pinboards to be collaboratively created which would be useful for sharing visual research for creative projects or possibly presenting to clients. Each of these pins can be “liked” allowing a less formalised collection. Mashable suggests these could be used to make wish lists for friends to see.
These sorts of curatorial tools are certainly the way forward for harnessing the power of the web. We all know that you can find practically anything online these days — and the virtual library is overwhelming. But the genius behind Pinterest is how we each become mini librarians, who, together, make the most of the whole. Or, to put it another way we are given a chance to curate our own mini exhibitions for the world to see. It’s this idea of collecting that we all love and will bring Pinterest continued growth.