Commercial? Yes
Type of site Social networking service
Registration Required for full functionality
Available language(s) English, Portuguese (European/Brazilian), Spanish (Spain)
Created by Paul Sciarra, Evan Sharp, and Ben Silbermann
Launched March 2010; 2 years ago (2010-03)
Alexa rank Steady 38 (September 2012)[1]
Current status Active

Pinterest is a pinboard-style social photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies, and more. Users can browse other pinboards for inspiration, ‘re-pin’ images to their own collections or ‘like’ photos. Pinterest’s mission is to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting”[2] via a global platform of inspiration and idea sharing. Founded by Ben Silbermann (of West Des Moines, Iowa), Paul Sciarra, and Evan Sharp[3] the site is managed by Cold Brew Labs and funded by a small group of entrepreneurs and inventors.


[edit] History

Founder Ben Silbermann (left) at the South By Southwest Interactive conference in March 2012.

Pinterest is similar to earlier social, image bookmarking systems based on the same principle, such as David Galbraith’s 2005 project Wists.[4] It allows users to save images and categorize them on different boards. They can follow other users’ boards if they have similar tastes. Popular categories are travel, cars, film, humor, home design, sports, fashion, and art.

Development of Pinterest began in December 2009, and the site launched as a open beta.

Silbermann said he personally wrote to the site’s first 5,000 users offering his personal phone number and even meeting with some of its users.[5]

Nine months after launch the website had 10,000 users. Silbermann and a few programmers operated the site out of a small apartment until the summer of 2011.[5]

Early in 2010, the company’s investors and co-founder Ben Silbermann tried to interest a New York-based magazine publishing company in buying Pinterest. The publisher declined to meet with the founders.[6]

The launch of an iPhone app in early March 2011 brought in a more than expected number of downloads.[6]

On 16 August 2011, Time magazine listed Pinterest in its “50 Best Websites of 2011” article.[7]

The Pinterest app for [9]

In December 2011, the site became one of the top 10 largest [14]

In January 2012, comScore reported the site had 11.7 million unique users, making it the fastest site in history to break through the 10 million unique visitor mark.[15] Pinterest’s wide reach helped it achieve an average of 11 million visits each week in December 2011. Most of the site’s users are female.

At the South By Southwest Interactive conference in March 2012, Silbermann announced revamped profile pages were being developed and would be implemented soon.[5]

On 23 March 2012, Pinterest unveiled updated [17]

According to Experian Hitwise, the site became the third largest social network in the United States in March 2012, surpassing Linkedin and Tagged.[18]

Co-founder Paul Sciarra left his position at Pinterest in April 2012 for a consulting job as entrepreneur in residence at Andreessen Horowitz.[19]

On 17 May 2012, Japanese electronic commerce company [21]

On 10 August 2012, Pinterest was opened to everyone without request or require an invitation.[24]

On September 20, 2012 Pinterest announced that it has hired its new head of engineering, Jon Jenkins. Jenkins came from Amazon, where he spent eight years as an engineering lead and was also a director of develop tools, director of platform analysis and director of website platform.[25]

In October of 2012, Pinterest announced a new feature that would allow users to report others for negative and offensive activity or block other users if they do not want to view their content. Pinterest said they want to keep their community “positive and respectful.”.[27]

[edit] Usage

Pinterest users can upload, save, sort and manage images, known as pins, and other media content (i.e. videos) through collections known as pinboards.[29] or be implemented by a webmaster directly on the website.

There are several ways to register a new Pinterest account. Potential users can either receive an invitation from a friend already registered, or request an invitation directly from the Pinterest website. The invitation may take some time to be received. An account can also be created and accessed by linking Pinterest to a [32]

On the main Pinterest page, a “pin feed” appears, displaying the chronological activity from the pinterest boards that a user follows.[28] For both guests and Pinterest users, there are currently four main sections to browse: everything, videos, popular, and gifts. These subcategories provide an organized system of browsing, which helps fellow users to connect and share interests.

Quick links to Pinterest include the “pin it” button that can be added to the bookmark bar of a web browser, “Follow me” and “Pin it” buttons added to personal website or blog page,[34]

Users should be aware of certain terms and functions when using Pinterest. A “board” is where the users pins are located, users can have several boards for various items. A “pin” is an image that has either been uploaded or from a link on a website. Once users create boards and add pins, other users can now “repin” meaning that they can “pin” one users image to their board as well.[35] Once the user has set up their account and boards, they can browse, comment, and like other “pins”. If a user wants to turn an image online into a “pin” there are a few simple steps to do so. First, the user must elect image that you want to pin. Second, user then click on the “Add +” button on Pinterest. Third, copy & paste image URL into link box. Next, the user will select the exact image they wish to pin and place in designated board. Users can then describe the pin and share via Twitter or Facebook. Other users can now click on the pin to see which board the image is pinned in, who pinned the image previously, where the original pin is from, and who has liked, commented, or repinned the image.

The website has proven especially popular among women.[37]

Pinboards can be used by educators to plan lessons. Teachers can pin sites for later referral. Students can pin and organize sources and collaborate on projects.[38]

Pinterest has played a role in the run-up to the 2012 US Presidential Election. The wives of both candidates created accounts. Ann Romney debuted her Pinterest account in March and First Lady Michele Obama announced hers in June.[39]

[edit] Commerce

Brands like fashion e-commerce website [41]

[edit] User base

[edit] Demographics

The site has been popular with American women and, in 2012, it was reported that 83% of the U.S. users were women.[[43]

[edit] Growth

For January 2012 [44]

Much of the service’s [46]

[edit] Business

Pinterest was first conceptualized in December 2009 by co-founders Ben Silbermann, Evan Sharp and Paul Sciarra. The first prototype was launched in March 2010 where it was available to a small group of colleagues and family members.[47] Since its inception three years ago, it has developed into a well-funded site financially supported by a group of successful entrepreneurs and investors including: FirstMark Capital, Jack Abraham (Milo), Michael Birch (Bebo), Scott Belsky (Behance), Shana Fisher (Highline Venture Partners), Ron Conway (SV Angel), Kevin Hartz (EventBrite), Jeremy Stoppelman (Yelp), Hank Vigil, Fritz Lanman, and Brian S. Cohen”.[48] As Pinterest continues to grow and develop, so does its business opportunity as a promising marketing platform, especially in terms of data collection for retail companies and marketing strategists.

In early 2011, the company secured a $10 million USD Series A financing led by Jeremy Levine and Sarah Tavel of Bessemer Venture Partners. In October 2011, after an introduction from Kevin Hartz and Jeremy Stoppelman, the company secured $27 million USD in funding from Andreessen Horowitz, which valued the company at $200 million USD.[49]

Retail companies have taken advantage of Pinterest for advertising and style trending. The web design provides an ideal layout for “style conscious retailers”,[50]

Baynote founder Scott Brave sees Pinterest as an ideal environment to collect affinity data; a resource that holds the potential for substantial demand and income. This data “reveals valuable relationships between consumer behaviours, products and content”, where it can be collected and sold as marketing analysis.[51]

As of March 2012, Pinterest is valued at $1.5 billion.[52]

[edit] Copyrighted content

Pinterest has a notification system which allows copyright holders to request that content be removed from the site. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) safe harbor status of Pinterest has been questioned given that it actively promotes its users to copy to Pinterest, for their perpetual use, any image on the internet. Pinterest users cannot claim safe harbor status and as such are exposed to possible legal action for pinning copyrighted material.[53]

A “nopin” HTML meta tag was released by Pinterest on 20 February 2012 to allow websites to opt out of their images being pinned. On 24 February 2012, Flickr implemented the code to allow users to opt out their photos.[54]

Pinterest released a statement in March 2012 saying it believed it was protected by the DMCA’s safe harbor provisions.[44]

In early May 2012, the site added automatic attribution of authors on images originating from Flickr, Behance, YouTube and Vimeo. Automatic attribution was also added for Pins from sites mirroring content on Flickr. At the same time Flickr added a Pin shortcut to its share option menu to users who have not opted out of sharing their images.[56]

[edit] Reception

[edit] Terms of service

A terms of service have been garnering a lot of criticism for stating in no uncertain terms that anything you “pin” to their site belongs to them. Completely. Wholly. Forever and for always”.

Pinterest’s Terms of Service stated:

“By making available any Member Content through the Site, Application or Services, you hereby grant to Cold Brew Labs a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content only on, through or by means of the Site, Application or Services”.[57]

Under the terms all personal, creative and intellectual property posted to the site belonged to the website and could be sold.

The fact that the content could be sold particularly unsettled another Scientific American blogger who said, “Problematically in the same paragraph, Pinterest states: ‘Cold Brew Labs does not claim any ownership rights in any such Member Content’. So which is it? Do they claim ownership to the content or not? And what are they planning to sell, anyway?”[58]

In March 2012, Pinterest unveiled updated terms of service that ended the site’s claims of ownership once implemented in April. “Selling content was never our intention”, said the company in a blog post.[17]

[edit] Legal status

In February 2012, photographer and lawyer Kirsten Kowalski wrote a blog post explaining how her interpretation of copyright law led her to delete all her infringing pins.[59]

Content creators on sites such as Getty Images said that it was aware of Pinterest’s copyright issues and was in discussion with them.

A meta tag was released by Pinterest in February 2012 to allow websites to opt out of their images being pinned.[54]

[edit] Awards

At the 2012 Webby Awards, Pinterest won best social media app and people’s voice award for best functioning visual design.[59]

[edit] Third party developers and content

Many third party developers have created web-apps, browser extensions, and even podcasts devoted to Pinterest. These items range from analytics, to enlarging the images on Pinterest’s website.

[edit] Technical

Pinterest is written on the Django python web framework.[60]

[edit] Use by scammers

Social engineering of Pinterest users by scammers to propagate surveys promising free products was noted by the computer security firm Symantec in March 2012. Scam images, often branded with a well-known company name like Starbucks, offer incentives such as gift cards for completing a survey. Once the link in the description is clicked, users are taken to an external site and asked to re-pin the scam image. Victims are phished for their personal information and the promised free product is never delivered.[61]

Other scammers capitalized on the lack of an official Google Play app. Low-quality Pinterest apps purporting to be official have appeared that generate ad revenue or monitor the downloader’s activity.[62] There is now an official Pinterest app for Android devices.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

  1. ^ “Pinterest web traffic statistics”. Alexa. 4 July 2012. Retrieved 2012-07-05.
  2. ^ “Our Mission”. Pinterest. Retrieved 22 March 2012.
  3. ^
  4. ^ “You are what you curate: why Pinterest is hawt”.
  5. ^ Retrieved 14 March 2012.
  6. ^ Retrieved May 7, 2011.
  7. ^ McCracken, Harry (August 16, 2011). “The 50 Best Websites of 2011”. Time.,28804,2087815_2088159_2088155,00.html. Retrieved August 21, 2011.
  8. ^ “Pinterest”. Pinterest. iTunes App Store. Retrieved November 2, 2011.
  9. ^ Pinterest (13 September 2011). “Pinterest Mobile”. Pinterest Blog. Retrieved 31 March 2012.
  10. ^ Sloan, Paul (December 22, 2011). “Pinterest: Crazy growth lands it as top 10 social site”. CNET News.;txt. Retrieved February 2, 2012.
  11. ^ Fox, Zoe (February 1, 2012). “Pinterest Drives More Traffic Than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn”. Mashable. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
  12. ^ Indvik, Lauren (January 29, 2012). “Pinterest Becomes Top Traffic Driver for Retailers”. Mashable. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
  13. ^ Josh Constine (January 31, 2012). “Congratulations Crunchies Winners! Dropbox Is The Best Overall Startup”. TechCrunch. Retrieved February 7, 2012.
  14. ^ Pinterest finished out 2011 with $37 million raised and an unconfirmed valuation of $200 million.
  15. ^ Retrieved February 15, 2012.
  16. ^ Retrieved 24 March 2012. “Among other things, Pinterest says it never intended to sell user content and has removed from its terms of service wording that granted the company the right to do so.”
  17. ^ Retrieved 24 March 2012.
  18. ^ Palis, Courteney (6 April 2012). “Pinterest Popularity Soars To New Heights”. Huffington Post.
  19. ^ Laurie Segal (6 April 2012). “Pinterest co-founder steps down”. CNN Money. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
  20. ^ “Pinterest Raises $100 Million With $1.5 Billion Valuation”. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2 December 2012.
  21. ^ Lauren Indvik (18 May 2012). “Pinterest Raises $100 Million to Fund International Expansion”. Retrieved 2012-05-18.
  22. ^ “Bigger than ever, Pinterest opens up to all”. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
  23. ^ “Pinterest debuts device-specific Android and iPad apps”. CNET. Retrieved 2012-08-15.
  24. ^ Lunden, Ingrid. October 15, 2012. “Pinterest launches iPad and Android apps.”
  25. ^ Taylor, Colleen. September 20, 2012. “Pinterest Nabs Amazon Vet Jon Jenkins To Be Its New Head Of Engineering.”
  26. ^ Taylor, Colleen. “Pinterest Adds Ability To Block And Report Other Users To Keep Site ‘Positive And Respectful.”
  27. ^ “HubSpot” Pinterest Finally Rolls Out Business Accounts – 14th October, 2012
  28. ^ Retrieved 2011-08-21.
  29. ^ Retrieved March 26, 2012.
  30. ^ “Pinterest / Settings”. Retrieved 2012-03-22.
  31. ^ “Pinterest / Help”. Retrieved February 8, 2012.
  32. ^ Tsukayama, Hayley (March 25, 2011). “Facebook’s Timeline has some vocal dissenters”. The Washington Post. Retrieved February 8, 2012.
  33. ^ “Pinterest / What is Following?”. Retrieved March 22, 2012.
  34. ^ “What is Pinterest?”. Retrieved 2012-01-07.
  35. ^ Crook, Jordan. “This Is Everything You Need To Know About Pinterest (Infographic)”. Retrieved 18 September 2012.
  36. ^ Clayton Morris (February 13, 2012). “Pinterest: Facebook for women?”. Fox News. Retrieved 2012-02-13.
  37. ^ (April 10, 2012). “Pinterest Directory & Stats”. Repinly. Retrieved 2012-04-10.
  38. ^ Charlie Osborne (February 13, 2012). “Pinterest as a learning tool: Do the two compute?”. CBS Interactive. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
  39. ^ “Michelle Obama Debuts on Pinterest 3 Months After Ann Romney”. Retrieved 2012-06-13.
  40. ^ Laura Hazard Owen (9 May 2012). “Pinterest users spend way more money than Facebook users, Boticca finds”. GigOm. Retrieved 12 May 2012.
  41. ^ Bryan Nagy (13 May 2012). “Best Practices for Brands Using Pinterest”. Retrieved 13 May 2012.
  42. ^ Barnett, Emma (28 March 2012), “Barack Obama signs up to Pinterest”, Daily Telegraph (London),
  43. ^ Ryan LaSala (2012-09-04). “Pinterest vs. Tumblr: Not Even a Contest”. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
  44. ^ Retrieved 2012-03-31.
  45. ^ Jon Swartz (25 April 2012). “Pinterest growth curve levels off”. USA Today. Retrieved 2012-05-02.
  46. ^ Ryan LaSala (2012-10-10). “Pinterest Surpasses Tumblr In Unique Visitors”. Retrieved 2012-10-18.
  47. ^ Devine, Rachel. “We ♥ Pinterest”.♥-pinterest/.
  48. ^ “Pinterest Team”. Retrieved 2012-03-25.
  49. ^ Swisher, Kara (7 October 2011). “Exclusive: Pinterest Set to Close a New Round with Andreessen Horowitz”. AllThingsD. Retrieved 2012-01-07.
  50. ^ Retrieved 2012-03-25.
  51. ^ Brave, Scott. “Pinterest, we’ve got a business model for you”. Gigom. Retrieved 2012-03-28.
  52. Retrieved 2012-05-18.
  53. ^ Carrie Sager. “Pinterest’s legal woes”. Washington College of Law. Retrieved 2012-03-02.
  54. ^ Retrieved 24 February 2012.
  55. ^ Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  56. ^ Courteney Palis (1 May 2012). “Pinterest Announces Attribution Tool Feature For Flickr, YouTube And More (PICTURES)”. Huffington Post. Retrieved 2012-05-05.
  57. ^ Kalliopi Monoyios (19 March 2012). “Pinterest’s Terms of Service, Word by Terrifying Word”. Scientific American. Retrieved 2012-03-24.
  58. ^ Glendon Mellow (16 March 2012). “The Promise and Perils of Pinterest”. Scientific American. Retrieved 24 March 2012.
  59. ^ Retrieved 2012-03-15.
  60. ^ Django. “Meet Django”. Django Software Foundation. Retrieved 2012-06-28.
  61. Retrieved 15 March 2012.
  62. ^ Fahmida Y. Rashid (30 April 2012). “Pinterest Plagued by More Scams, Fake Android Apps”. PC Magazine. Retrieved 2012-04-04.

[edit] External links

This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Pintrest, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.