Trending: Board of the internet? Try Pinterest

Another hot new social network – just what we need. But the joy and creativity of this site is easy to pin down

"I joined a year ago when it was in beta stage – it was a bit glitchy but I knew within minutes of using it that it would become a daily must for my work and play," says Anna Burles, 41, an interior designer. Founded by two Yale graduates – Paul Sciarra (a former venture capitalist) and Ben Silbermann (a former Google advertising product specialist) – Pinterest.com lets users create virtual internet pinboards.

Pageviews in November increased by 2000 per cent from June, according to digital analyst comScore. At 421 million, it had surpassed even super-popular craft website Etsy. Time magazine named Pinterest one of the five best social media sites of 2011. Now, everyone is talking about it and rushing to sign up.

With its clean, easy-to-use design, Pinterest taps into our desire to express ourselves and to discover things. Download a "Pin It" button to the bookmarks toolbar and click on it when you find images you like on a web page. It's that simple. Or snap your own photos with the Pinterest iPhone app. The collected images are then categorised and tagged with a description. Users have the option of subscribing to an individual collection or to everything another user posts. Collect, organise and share, that's basically what Pinterest is all about. Silbermann himself posted all the T-shirts he ever wanted to buy.

Recognisable names on the site include the model Coco Rocha and Project Runway's Nina Garcia and, as I write, it is reported that Mark Zuckerberg just signed up. Last week the journalist India Knight was enthusiastically tweeting about it to her 57,000 followers. In January, Rocha tweeted, "Dear Fashion, Pinterest is to 2012 what Tumblr was to 2011. There, I said it. If you need an invitation, DM me."

That's the other thing about Pinterest. You either sign up on the website and wait to be approved for an invite or have an existing Pinterest account holder send you one. It's reminiscent of the early days of a certain email service (cough, Gmail) launched by a certain popular search engine. I succumbed to the hype last November and queued up for an invite after seeing people in my twitter feed rave about it. By December my account was activated and now I spend about 30 minutes a day on the site. It touches on my instincts for collecting and organising – my Pinterest boards are neat categories of inspiring photographs, interesting graphic design and vintage magazine covers.

Launched in March 2010, Pinterest only started gaining momentum late last year. And according to Silbermann, the site's first users were mostly women in the US Midwest, and most addicts continue to be women. Luci Hindmarsh, 39, who blogs at mother.wife.me, joined only a month ago but already finds it compulsive. "It's a good way to keep track of cool stuff I've seen on the web. I'm like a magpie when it comes to beautiful things, so it is nice to have somewhere to stick all the online gems I find."

Crafting and hobbyists have also found ways of using Pinterest for inspiration. Kerry Davies, 28, a social media manager, says: "I use it for ideas of things to make, crafts, recipes, jokes, what pieces of clothing to piece together. Just about anything really."

Every time a new social media network gains steam, companies and brands are never far behind. Its wide digital reach – Pinterest had 11 million unique users in January – can be used for leverage. Bergdorf Goodman uses it like a catalogue with categories such as "favourite fashion moments from New York Fashion Week" and "winter beauty solutions". Traditional media outlets such as Time and Newsweek also have profiles. Burles, who runs her own interior design business, says: "When I'm researching furniture and accessories or art to buy for a project, I create a board which I then share with my client – they give me direction about the things they love most."

It took five years for Tumblr to hit fever pitch – it had 14 billion pageviews in December, investment poured in and the company now needs to prove it can turn a profit. We could see a similar drastic expansion from Pinterest. So women, be warned, keep an eye on your addiction.

 

Karen Hodkinson's Pinterest is http://pinterest.com/thedailymum

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Junior Business Systems Analyst - High Wycombe - £30,000

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Junior Business Systems Analyst role...

Guru Careers: Talent Manager

£30-35k (P/T - Pro Rata) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienc...

Sauce Recruitment: New Media Marketing Manager - EMEA - Digital Distribution

£35000 - £45000 per annum + up to £45,000: Sauce Recruitment: The Internation...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003