Pinterest was first introduced to me as ‘4chan for women’ which automatically marked it as possibly the worst place on the internet. Visiting its front page was quite the experience. Rather than being greeted by Rick Astley, Pedobear or infinite lolcats, instead I was confronted by a wall of imaginary weddings, cute animals, motivational sayings and delicious-looking food.
Perhaps it’s all a bit cringe-worthy, but nothing remotely measuring up to hell on the internet.
Supposedly designed to act as a platform for connecting people the world over based on the ‘things’ they like, by allowing them ‘pin’ images and videos from across the internet on customary metaphysical online cork-boards for other Pinterest users to like and share with their followers, it is a community which has grown impressively quickly. Based around the entire concept of trying to create a sort of kinship through shared interests, and marketing itself as a social networking site, Pinterest allows you to leave comments and interact with others on the site, and is thus far engaging users twice as much as Twitter did when it was a similar age.
It is perhaps the case that Pinterest has simply slipped into a gap in a world today, as everybody mindlessly wanders the internet ‘liking’ various finds, while being equally scared of a lack of privacy and employers finding information online. It is easily asserted however, that it is probably better your employer finds a hundred images of your imaginary wedding than you posting about having the absolute banter when you’ve pulled a sickie, or your latest tagged photos from the messiest night of your life. Pinterest is less concerned with your personal details and more interested in pretty pictures you’ve found.
More than that, it stands out in its simplicity amid a huge crowd of social networking sites, all vying for your attention with flashy add-ons and more pointless features than you will ever need. Timeline, I am particularly looking at you. You need not exist.
If you’re not sure minimalism is the way to go, the stats are there to back this relatively young website up. In the last four months of last year, Pinterest received 7.21 million users from across the globe, marking a 430% increase in footfall and more significantly than that, it pushes more traffic to other websites than LinkedIn, YouTube and Google+, three of the biggest social networking sites around, combined.
With people today living in such a fast-paced world, there isn’t time for hanging around, and Pinterest doesn’t mind. It knows we’re all prone to being flaky in our internet habits, and that what we’re looking for, we want now, and it’s willing to deliver. Providing us with masses of information and the tools to process it all quickly and efficiently without too much commitment, it allows us to share the best and worst of everything we find with our friends in a few quick clicks.
Pinterest may only have been around since early 2010, but it’s making short work of the internet market. With an obvious viral marketing platform that many brands are beginning to tap into and a love of visual communication that shows no signs of letting up, it would seem that this vast collection of noticeboards is gearing up to eventually take on the biggest of the internet big-shots such as Facebook and Twitter. Perhaps it’s just got a buzz around it at the moment, or maybe it’s the way of the future for social networking, but either way, it’s happening now, and it’s refusing to stop its ascent up the supposed ladder for anyone.