What is Pinterest, what is it for and much more

Who I am
Craig Zacker
Author and references

Pinterest is a service that you will find on the Internet whose basis is to share images and social networks. It was designed to enable the storage and discovery of information, even more ideas, but using images, animated GIFs, and even videos, but that comes in the form of message boards. On Pinterest, you can find ideas like recipes, home and style inspiration, and more. Now you know what Pinterest is, what it's for, and so much more.

With billions of Pins on Pinterest, you'll always find ideas to inspire you. When you discover Pins you like, save them to boards to keep your ideas organized and easy to find.

Learn more about Pinterest

The creators of Pinterest have summarized the service as a "catalogue of ideas" that inspires users to "go out and do it", although it is not an image-based "social network". You also have a very broad fashion profile. In later years, Pinterest has also been described as a "visual search engine".

How is Pinterest made up?

Pinterest consists mainly of «pins» and «boards». A pin is an image that has been linked from a website or uploaded. Pins saved from one user's wall can be saved to someone else's wall, a process known as 'repinning'.

Bulletin boards are collections of pins dedicated to one topic, such as dating, travel, or weddings. Multi-idea boards can have different sections that also contain multiple pins. Users can follow and unfollow other users as well as forums, which would fill up the «startup feed».

Content can also be found outside of Pinterest and similarly uploaded to a pinboard via a «Save» button, which can either be downloaded to the bookmarks bar in a web browser or implemented by a webmaster directly on the website.

It was originally called the «Pin» button, but was renamed «Save» in 2016 due to international expansion, making the site more intuitive for new users.

In August 2016, Pinterest launched a video player that allows users and brands to upload and store clips of any length directly on the site.

Pinterest faster than any standalone site,” a study was done which claimed to show that Pinterest generated more referral traffic than Google+.

We're getting to that point with Pinterest where (at least in tech circles) it's awkward to ask what it is, even if you're not exactly sure. This is your quick guide to the site.

Browse the home feed

Your home feed is where you'll find Pins, people, and activity that we think you'll like, based on your recent activity. It also shows you Pins from people and boards you choose to follow.

You can also search for Pins by typing keywords into the search bar. Try typing “birthday party” into the search bar to see birthday party decoration ideas, party food recipes, and birthday gift ideas.

Purchases and catalogues

The platform has attracted companies, especially retailers, to create pages intended to promote their online businesses as a "virtual storefront".

In 2013, Pinterest introduced a new tool called «Rich Pins», to improve the customer experience when browsing pins created by companies. Commercial pages can include various facts, topics, and information, such as product prices, movie ratings, or recipe ingredients.

In June 2015, Pinterest introduced "shopping flippers" that allow users to buy items directly from Pinterest. In October 2018, the Purchasable Pins feature was replaced with "Product Pins"

In March 2019, Pinterest added product catalogs and personalized shopping recommendations with a “other than [brand]” option, showcasing a range of product Pins from the same company.

Save, test and share Pins

The pins are bookmarks that people use to save the ideas they love on Pinterest. Pins can be images, videos, or products.

If you click on the Pin, you can visit the site to find out how to do it or where to buy it. When you discover Pins you like, click the red Save button to save them to your boards.

When you try a Pin, you can show people on Pinterest how it went. Have you tried the perfect birthday cake recipe? Add a photo of your cake to the Pin, add a comment to tell people how it went, or add helpful tips.

Sometimes you'll find a Pin that you know a friend will love. Click the share icon to send Pins directly to a friend or group in a message to spread inspiration.

You can also use Messages to chat with your friends. You can view your messages by clicking the voice ellipsis icon on your desktop, or by tapping the bell icon followed by Chat on your mobile device.

Pinterest analysis

Pinterest Analytics is very similar to Google Analytics. It is a service created that generates comprehensive traffic statistics of a specific website, commonly used by marketers. Pins, pinners, repins, and repinners are some of the aspects of user data provided by Pinterest Analytics.

It also collects data representing the percentage change over a specific time period, to determine if a product is most popular on a specific day of the week or if it is slowly becoming unpopular.

This data helps marketing agencies to change their strategies to gain more popularity, often changing the visual content to appeal to the Pinterest community.

The "Most Clicks" tab in Pinterest Analytics shows which products are most likely to sell. By accessing Pinterest Analytics, businesses receive data insights through the APIs.

Create Pin

Upload an image from your computer or mobile device to create a Pin. You can also create and save Pins from images you find online. Add a title and description to each Pin you create, and a website link if you have one.

You can edit a Pin's information at any time and move it to any board.

Create boards

The Pins you save live to your boards. Name your boards and organize them on your profile however you like. Invite other people on Pinterest to collaborate on group boards for even more ideas.

To organize your Pins into boards, create board sections. Add a "Decorations" or "Party Games" section to your birthday party board to keep similar ideas in the same place.

Organize your Pins in a way that makes sense to you. You can also add dates to your board if you're using it to plan an event, or add notes to create checklists or other reminders.

If you'd rather keep your Pins private or throw a surprise birthday party, you can keep your board secret. Only you and anyone you invite can see your secret boards.

view your profile

Find all the Pins you save, boards you create, and Pins you try on your profile. You can also see who follows you, forums and people you follow. Anyone can see your profile, but your secret boards will remain hidden. Only you can see your secret boards when viewing your profile.


Pinterest is a free website that requires registration to use. Currently, the service can be accessed via a web browser and apps for iOS, Android, and Windows 10 PCs.


Pinterest has largely attracted women, especially its initial user base. In 2012, a report found that 83% of global users were female. In terms of age distribution, the population on Pinterest closely resembled the population on the internet. As of October 2016, the proportion of female users was less than 60% [64], although 60% of new signups were female and 40% male.

In science

Pinterest data was used for research in several areas. For example, you can find patterns of activity that attract audience attention and forward content, including how users specialize in particular topics and homophilia among users.

Other works have focused on the study of the global characteristics, manifestations and effects of user behavior under various aspects, as well as on the correlations between neighboring users and the topology of the network structure. There is also a study which, based on Pinterest, has proposed a new board recommendation system for Twitter users.

Like Twitter, Pinterest lets you follow other users. If you find another user's content particularly interesting, you can click "Follow All" to view all of their boards in your account in real time.

If you only want to follow specific boards, you can click "Follow" next to each board you want to follow. Pinterest doesn't notify users when you decide to unfollow them.

To experience Pinterest for yourself, visit the Pinterest website.

Why should I care about Pinterest?

Pinterest has come out of the pack of new social networks to become one formidable source of traffic, especially for retail sites. It has a very elegant user interface and a solid revenue model. And the site has a fascinating demographic breakdown: It's strongest among young women in the Midwest.

The genius of the user interface is that when you press the «Pin It» button, all the images of the page you are visiting are displayed, allowing you to select the correct one. Using individual photos instead of full URLs means that Pinterest boards end up looking stylish and aesthetically appealing.

On Pinterest, anyone can "repaint" one of your photos on one of their boards. This is similar to Tumblr or Twitter retweeting in that it makes content virally contagious and serves as a system-wide metric for what's trending. Most repeating things go to the site's Pinterest-themed pages, driving a lot of traffic to the original pinners of those photos.

What are people posting on Pinterest?

Pinterest isn't like Reddit, which is a mix of community-created news and weird stuff. People rarely post content created by the media. Instead, people post links to retail sites.

They select a large selection of products that they want to think about buying. It's actually useful for planning the "details" of the wedding because you can quickly accumulate a lot of examples of unique things.

Who runs Pinterest?

Pinterest was co-founded by Ben Silberman, Paul Sciarra and Evan Sharp, shy of the press and relatively unknown. They are now financially backed by a bunch of guys from Silicon Valley and are based in Palo Alto, California. Its latest round of venture funding came in at $27 million and was led by heavyweights Andreessen Horowitz.

How does Pinterest make money?

Here's another interesting aspect of the Pinterest game. Unlike other social networks, which have waited years to monetize through advertising, Pinterest has taken a different route. They are already monetizing by taking a portion of the sales that pins on their site help generate.

They've partnered with a company called SkimLinks, which automatically scans every link posted on the site to see if it goes to a retail site with an affiliate program. If you find that type of link, secretly add an affiliate code that guarantees Pinterest will make money from sales from that link.

It's a clever play, particularly given the attention to detail of the site's users, but Pinterest probably should have disclosed the practice more openly.

Plus, with a site full of people spending their time posting links to retail sites, we're sure Pinterest will find plenty of ways to make money.

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