It’s been a while since we have written a “we love” post, but we have really fallen for something that has caught our “Pinterest“.
Many photographers, such as ourselves, have gravitated towards this new site. It has allowed us a way to visually bookmark things that we find on the internet and catalog images that inspire us in some way. We have used it to create boards of the gear we use, items we want to buy, even decorating inspiration. There are collections of recipes and DIY crafting projects. Both Peta and Rachel have boards on Pinterest, and are completely addicted! When you follow a new person, you get to see all the things they find fascinating online and each new thing that catches your eye takes you to more boards that will continue to take you deeper and deeper down an Alice in Wonderland hole of amazing stuff.
When you are ready to join Pinterest, please give yourself quite a bit of time. While it is super easy to set up and with all your Facebook and Twitter who are on Pinterest contacts automatically loaded, you will be sucked in immediately. For hours!
Rachel recently had the opportunity to meet Ben, one of the creators of Pinterest at the Alt Design Summit last month. What a fascinating guy! We thought it would be great to ask Ben a few questions and share the love with all of you.
How did Pinterest start?
I started Pinterest with my college friend Paul. We were looking at paper catalogs and thought, wouldn’t it be cool if there was a catalog full of stuff that our friends had picked out. Paul and I are lucky enough to have friends with amazing taste in all sorts of things — mid century furniture, indian cooking, rap music, graphic design. We thought it would be exciting to build a place where our friends could share all of that. Both of us truly believe that most people have great taste in something. Our mission at Pinterest is to empower people to share their taste with the world.
How long has it been in development?
We started making Pinterest in December 2009. By March 2010, we had a prototype to share with close friends and family. Since then, every new member of Pinterest has been given a few invites to send to close friends.
As a collaboration project, how is it to work with others on bringing something so specific to the market?
It’s great! The best thing about building a company is gathering a group of people who can achieve a lot more together than they can individually. Every member of our team focuses on a different part of the product, but together, we all want to make Pinterest a product lots of people use and love. We get incredibly excited to hear from Pinterest users. It sounds boring, but we enjoy doing customer support because it’s an opportunity to find out how we can make Pinterest just a little bit better.
What tech goodies can you let us in on so we have something to look forward to? (ie: iphone and android apps, “pin my stuff” blog and website widgets, notifications of being pinned, and the big question…opening of the beta invite only version.)
So many! I can’t tell you about everything, but we have an iPhone and Android application in the works. We hired a great developer named Sahil Lavingia who is leading the charge on it. After testing it for a couple weeks, I can say that I’m as excited about the Pinterest app as I am about Pinterest.com. I think the two products work really well together, so we can’t wait to release it. We’re also working on an API so users can do a lot more with their pins — everything from embedding pinboards onto their website to having Pin It! buttons that can be added to stores or blogs.
As the site grows, are there any plans in place to deal with those who pin their own work or otherwise sully the experience?
We’re pretty strict about enforcing our terms of service, which prohibit nudity or hateful material. Right now, anyone can “report” a pin that they find objectionable. Reporting a pin immediately removes it from the public parts of the site and sends it to our team for review. If the pin violates our Terms of Service, I let the user know and then delete that pin immediately. More importantly though, we rely on our community to make Pinterest a positive place. I’m amazed by how thoughtful and passionate Pinterest users are. We get LOTS of help from our users, and I’m genuinely thankful for that.
We love that one can display the price on a pin that is for sale…has anything come up in your pinterest feed that enticed you to get your hands on it in real life?
Lots actually! Pinterest is my go-to place to find gifts for anyone I find a little bit hard to shop for. The most important thing I bought from Pinterest, though, was my engagement ring! A couple months before my engagement I was feeling totally overwhelmed looking at Blue Nile and Tiffany’s. One night, I saw a really cool design posted by a woman who was actually a jewelry maker herself. A few comments back and forth, I was sold.
We both have local friends that are otherwise not very involved in social media, yet have sunk their teeth into Pinterest. What are your thoughts on Pinterest being so appealing to those who don’t normally “do” social media?
First, Pinterest is really visual. Lots of people find images more engaging and fun than text. I also think Pinterest taps into a really common human desire to share your taste. Lots of people take pride in how they decorate their house, what gifts they choose for friends, or what kind of art they appreciate. Pinterest makes it easy to share these interest with friends.
How would you like to see photographers using the site as it goes forward?
I like the idea of photographers sharing all the different aspects of their craft. It’s interesting to see their favorite photographs, but it’s just as interesting to see their favorite photography books, or the gear they carry, or even their favorite spots for taking photographs. Most of all, just be creative! Sometimes the boards I enjoy are totally unexpected — like http://pinterest.com/formfireglass/wood-you/ or http://pinterest.com/janew/household-weapons/or http://pinterest.com/madelscape/pinning-barcelona/
Thank you Ben and team for this great site! The best part, we have a special invitation to immediately join Pinterest just for our readers by clicking here!