It seems there’s no dearth of outlets for those looking to make their presence felt on the internet. It’s not enough that there’s Twitter for micro-blogging, Facebook for keeping in touch with your friends, Flickr and Picasa for creating online photo albums or even LinkedIn for maintaining a professional identity for future employers. Now Pinterest, which has been around for a year, has picked up on the popularity charts in the country.
As its name suggests, Pinterest lets you pin up pieces of information that you might find interesting on a digital billboard of sorts. It’s somewhat like the photo-equivalent of Twitter where you can upload photos (instead of text) or curate them from over the web.
Although the website is still in a beta, invitation-only form, it hasn’t stopped scores of Indian users from obtaining invitations over other social networking platforms and signing up. Novelist Shakti Salgaokar, 27, who started using the service early last year when it first started out, says, “I put up things I would like to own someday, that I may not necessarily want to buy right now. It’s a way of organising things for me.”
While the idea of digital pinboards isn’t really new as such, what differentiates this service from others is its aesthetically designed interface and ease of use. “I fell in love with Pinterest’s elegant and simple interface the minute I saw it,” says 33-year-old artiste Aarti Nandan. “It’s a great platform for browsing through incredibly sumptuous imagery and ideas from all over the world across diverse fields of interest from cooking to interiors, photography to art and fashion to products.”
Twenty-eight-year-old Priya Saini, who’s worked with Google and Facebook in the past, likes its crowd-sourcing aspect more than anything else. “I know a friend who planned her wedding over Pinterest. She created different boards for her wedding accessories, designs and food recipes. The fact that different people use it in different ways distinctly separates it from other social media like Facebook. I just love its visual and DIY (do-it-yourself) aspects,” she says.
However from the other side of the equation, Vijayendra Mohanty, who is prolific on Twitter with over 47,000 tweets and more than 5,500 followers, feels that Pintrest’s most charming feature is its community that’s been built exclusively around sharing photos. “I might be wrong as I only joined it two weeks ago, but it seems more for photo-sharing than for anything else. We can do this on other social media anyway.”
Entrepreneur Shiladitya Mukhopadhyaya, 28, who is also popular on Twitter and is a Facebook regular, feels the same, saying, “It feeds people’s need for visually appealing layouts of information. It caught on with women first and still has their majority because they use it for visual bookmarking. You’ll tend to find bits on fashion, furniture and other things you need to see rather than read details about.”