Pinterest, the social media sharing platform that enables users to share their hobbies and interests via "pins" on "pinboards" is taking the USA and UK by storm. Not particularly common here in SA.. but I've figured it's just a matter of time.
I've signed up for an account two days ago by requesting (on the Pinterest homepage) for an invite. After reading up on Pinterest, an immediate thrill rushed through me as soon as I was promised an invite from the Pinterest team. It didn't take long for my excitement to turn into impatience, then boredom, then disappointment. It took close onto 24 hours for my invite to come through. In order to "accept" the invite, I was to visit a specific link available in the email. And this is where I found Pinterest to be rather restrictive: only if you have a Facebook or Twitter account, can you make your first login. Thereafter, I was given the opportunity to create the details of my account: username, password, etc. Your first and last names are taken directly from the account you've logged in from, either Facebook or Twitter, along with the option of editing them. I was then asked to select what inspires me from a list of interests provided. Next, I was automatically "following" people who share the same interests as me (was about 11 people or so). You can "follow" and "unfollow" people at at any point you wish to. No requests or notifications involved. (What a blessing).
And this is where the fun begins! Especially if you're a person who is both passionate about your hobbies & interests, and have lots of time on your hands to be online. You can create "boards" that are something similar to Facebook Albums. You give them each a name. Then you can fill up your boards by either uploading images from your pc via the "upload a pin" option under the Add menu on the task bar, or "pinning" anything interesting you would like to share while surfing the net, after dragging the "Pin it" button onto your Bookmarks Bar. Note: you will have to have your Bookmarks bar permanently showing in order to do this.
Pinterest has certainly lived up to my expectations. Its easy-to-use interface allows you to feel at home almost immediately, making its growing popularity obvious. But I do stress on the fact that you have to have a significant amount of free time to browse other people's pins, and add content to your own pin boards. Because Pinterest only offers you content that you have already confirmed you're interested in, a log in to check out a few things for a few minutes can easily turn into hours. Sharing articles, images and videos hasn't been this fun in a long time!