Have you joined the Pinterest craze yet? Here’s everything you always wanted to know about the online pinboard site, but were afraid to ask.
A decade into the social media revolution, fatigue has set in. There are lots of ways to interact, but there are still only 24 hours in a day. What social media network is still worth your time?
For a growing number of brands, Pinterest is making the cut. According to Cincinnati-based marketing company Ahalogy, some 22% of Americans are now monthly visitors to the site, where people pin and share pictures and articles like you might pin magazine clippings on a bulletin board. While men are starting to join, the vast majority of Pinterest users are women, and they are generally younger women. If you’re marketing fishing equipment to retired gentlemen, then this is not your medium.
But if you’re trying to reach Pinterest’s core users of millennial moms, here’s how to stand out.
Gmail’s new-ish tabbed inbox offers the mechanized convenience of sorting all of your solicitations—your Groupons and Gap coupons—into one pile away from your more important email. Right now, that pile—called the Promotions Tab—looks like any other tower of email. But in a new Gmail update, Google has transformed the design from list to Pinterest, with a grid of minimal white cards driven by prominent photos (along with a corporate logo, one-line summary, and the option to star or trash the deal).
Callout! If you’re obsessed with visual design, photography, Instagram, Pinterest, or all of the above, we want to talk to you. We’re looking for one or two interns to take our Pinterest and Instagram accounts to the next level.
Twitter’s IPO is the big news today. Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann may be watching to see how it goes. He told Fast Company during yesterday’s Innovation Uncensored San Francisco that his company is nowhere near ready to go public. But Pinterest could take some tips from Twitter on how to become (or not become) profitable.
To create a pinboard is to say to the world, Here are the beautiful things that make me who I am—or who I want to be. Young women use Pinterest to plan their weddings, men collect watches and bikes into de facto gift registries, and couples assemble furniture sets for their new homes. Pictures of attractive men and women in various states of undress abound. The sum of each user’s choices is displayed in an ever-changing pastiche on each person’s home page. “When you open up Pinterest,” Silbermann says, distilling his vision, “you should feel like you’ve walked into a building full of stuff that only you are interested in. Everything should feel handpicked for you.” In other words, it’s a store in which every single product has been tailored to your needs, ambitions, and desires.
Artist Eric Daigh used exactly 22,765 pushpins to create a portrait of Pinterest founder Ben Silbermann for a feature in Fast Company’s 2012 Design Issue. Co.Design interviewed Eric Daigh to learn more about his creative process.
Now, Daigh has his pushpin mosaics down to a science. He photographs his own portrait, runs it through a software conversion process that creates (red, yellow, blue, black, and white) dots and then he examines it at the pixel level for algorithmic abnormalities, which he’s gotten very, very good at spotting. Whereas the human eye will want a shadow to contain a smooth gradient of color—maybe blue to black—computers tend to render these blocks out into distracting patterns that need to be hand-smoothed.
Meet Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann, the subject of Fast Company's October cover story.
For a guy running such a beautiful website, Ben Silbermann looks like hell: He has prominent bags under tired, watery eyes; his shoulders hang heavy; his shirt is wrinkled; and his dark hair is uncombed. When he speaks—with the open-vowel inflections of his Iowa upbringing—his voice is so slight that it often gets lost beneath the din of other conversations. When he moves, it is with the economy of a marathon runner trying to conserve every last bit of energy on the eve of a big race.
"I’m tired," says the 30-year-old CEO of Pinterest, the social scrapbook that’s the hottest website on the planet, as he prepares to shovel down a bowl of noodles a few feet away from his desk. Silbermann leaves for the office at 7 a.m. most mornings and works nonstop until dinner. His only respite, if you can call it that, comes in the predawn hours when he takes his newborn son, Max, into his arms and fires up his laptop to check email. Just a few weeks before Max was born in early July, Silbermann declared a companywide lockdown, ordering his 35 employees to come early and stay late in order to build new iPad and Android applications. The goal: to stoke growth. He ordered commemorative T-shirts with the phrase summer of apps printed across the chest, and he cut off almost all contact with anyone outside the company, including potential business partners.
In our upcoming October design issue, one of the many fascinating feature stories we’ve lined up is a lengthy profile of Pinterest and its elusive CEO, Ben Silbermann. That story goes live later this week, but until then, here’s a teaser, in the form of an infographic about Pinterest, created by Fast Company's staff and designed by our own Ted Keller.
In this profusion of figures, you find out a few key things about the image-sharing service. For one, it’s dominated by women. Second, something about its layout and culture stokes an enormous buying impulse. And third, major brands are getting in on the act. It’s not a stretch to say that soon, at least on retail sites, a Pinterest button might become as ubiquitous as a Facebook Like. Check out the full infographic via the link below.
Collections can be open to everyone, or closed to only a few authors. “Lots of services have successfully lowered the bar for sharing information, but there’s been less progress toward raising the quality of what’s produced,” Williams writes in a blog post introducing the service. Yet he also says that Medium is built so that lots of people can easily contribute, and it’s unclear what kind of controls the curator of each section has over what appears in their collection.
They’re hot now but do mash-up apps have a future? We talk with Brandon Leonardo, cofounder of the Pinterest/ Instagram combo Pinstagram, to find out. We also pitch him a few of our ideas, including “Shazump,” “Spotifurious,” and “Angry Fruit Ninjas.” Let the investment cash flow!
While there’s nothing wrong with simply sharpening your eye and taste by clicking the “Pin It” bookmarklet—we all need a break sometimes—Pinterest can also be used in productive, focused ways. It’s all about having an end goal in mind when you create those pinboards. So if you want to harness Pinterest’s strengths and habit-forming powers, try these exercises.