- PinterestTime magazine called Pinterest — a website where users post collections of their favorite items one of the five best social media sites of 2011. One estimate is that there are over 2.5 million monthly active Pinterest users…a number that rivals Facebook when it first started.  The company’s value has grown from 40 million in early 2011 to over 200 million today. So why haven’t you heard of it before? (think Pin your Interest) enables users to clip things they like and ‘Pin’ them on a topic board. While the site initially seemed to strike a chord with female users (topics included recipes, crafts, home decoration, etc.), topics on the site have grown to include travel guides, collections of Star Wars items and even boards called T-Shirts I always wanted to buy. There are still the boards of state parks in Florida as well as pictures of engagement rings, sweaters, clocks, gadgets, and shoes, shoes, shoes.

Semil Shah of described an important aspect of Pinterest as the ability to tap into the shift in consumer behavior and purchasing. Paraphrasing Shah:

As we make a decision to search for or buy something online, say red Nike running shoes, we are trained to go to Google (or Amazon), search by keyword, and sort through results to eventually make a transaction.  But, how did we decide to want red running shoes in the first place?


A site like Pinterest helps bring some of that discovery online. For the red running shoes, instead of researching them ourselves, we may instead elect to browse the pinboards of Pinterest users who are dedicated runners. We could find sneakers on a friend’s board and may have reasonable confidence that this pair could suit me, too. In this manner, we may elect to buy the shoes right after seeing our friend’s board on Pinterest and get to a transaction faster.

Whether you open an account and begin to pin your own interests or simply use the site to browse the interests of others, has a lot of information already sorted by keyword. We searched for “Steve Jobs” and were presented with over 16,000 images, cartoons, articles and more all relating to or tagged by users as relating to Steve Jobs.

It seems we are all programmed to head right to, search for a topic and begin to sort the results from there.  Starting a search from Pinterest may give the results that have already been sorted saving you a lot of time.  Give it a try yourself –

For a pretty in depth Beginner’s Guide to Pinterest check out