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

News
Alan Bennett has criticised the “repellent” reality shows which dominate our screens
tvBut he does like Stewart Lee
Life and Style
The Google Doodle celebrating the start of the first day of autumn, 2014.
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Sport
David Moyes and Louis van Gaal
football
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
i100
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
News
Former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin, left, with her daughter, Bristol
newsShe's 'proud' of eldest daughter, who 'punched host in the face'
Sport
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
rugby
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Life and Style
Carol O'Brien, whose son Rob suffered many years of depression
healthOne mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
Life and Style
food + drink
News
Rob Merrick's Lobby Journalists were playing Ed Balls' Labour Party MPs. The match is an annual event which takes place ahead of the opening of the party conference
newsRob Merrick insistes 'Ed will be hurting much more than me'
News
A cabin crew member photographed the devastation after one flight
news
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
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

Senior Account Executive / Account Executive

£25 - 30k (DOE) + Bonus & Benefits: Guru Careers: We are looking for an Accoun...

Account Manager / Sales Account Manager / Recruitment Account Manager

£25k Basic (DOE) – (£30k year 1 OTE) : Guru Careers: We are seeking a bright A...

Resourcer / Junior Recruiter

£15-20k (DOE) + Benefits / Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a bright R...

Web Designer / Digital Designer

£25 - 40k (DOE) + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Web Desig...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits