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Friday, 5 July 2013

Guide To Using Pinterest

*details last edited: February 26 2015

Pinterest has been around for a few years now, yet in spite of that & the site's growing popularity, it is still not as widely known or recognised as say Tumblr and Instagram.

So how does Pinterest work? Here's how:

  • Have you ever seen an image on the internet and thought, 'hey this looks cool, I want to show people this'?, well that is what Pinterest is partly about. One could say, Pinterest is the acronym for 'Pin your interests'. 
  • Pinterest is an online image board where you collect, upload, organise and group images and videos into boards that you have created yourself. It's similar to collecting photos and putting them in a folder. 
  • These photos and videos that you have on your boards are known as 'pins'; these pins are displayed for other followers of that board to see. 
  • What separates Instagram from Pinterest is whereas Instagram is more formal, general in terms of collecting, sharing images, Pinterest highlights your likes, preferences, interests. Therefore the images you pin are ones you like very much and based on your favourite things, be it food, places, celebrities, songs whatever you like. 
  • Other reasons that people use Pinterest include: 1) making lists of products, presents to buy for friends and loved ones, 2) recipe & meal ideas, 3) tips
  • I'd argue Pinterest is much more fandom related as well; there is a huge emphasis on creating and displaying boards containing images of your favourite actors, singers etc. I mainly use Pinterest to not just pin my favourite photos, artwork but to show my followers the things I am interested in. 
  • Pinterest is for anyone and everyone. Even though there is a large female user base, Pinterest attracts many male users as well. Their pins tend to be around things like sports, cars, video games to name but many. 
  • To pin images onto your boards, simply go to Pinterest's goodies page and where you see the official pin it button, drag and drop it onto the top of your web browser's bookmark bar. Then where it says 'pin it' on the bar, when you see an image you like, click 'pin it'. Same goes for pinning Youtube videos. 
  • A window will pop up and from there on, you can add a title, description of the image.When you are done, click on the red pin it button. 
  • When you see an image or video you like, click on it. After that, you can choose to do either one of or all 3 things: a) leave comment, b), like it and c) repin. Repin is similar to the Twitter Retweet button, in that you share the image or video with the followers of your board. 'Like it' is very much like Facebook's Like feature: if you like what you see, you can click 'Like It'. You will see an icon with an arrow, click on this. You can choose to either embed the image onto your website or blog, tweet it on Twitter or share it on Facebook. 
  • In some cases, you may come across an offending image or pin; when this happens, click on the flag icon to report it to Pinterest.  
  • On the top- right hand corner is the notifications tab; the red tab with the speech bubble automatically notifies you as soon as someone has liked, repinned your pins or followed your boards. The left icon indicates the user's profile pic, whilst the right icon denotes the photo or video they have pinned of yours onto their board. 
  • There are virtually no limitations with regards to using Pinterest, presuming that images and videos are in good taste and are not offensive. Into boy bands? You can create a board for that. Want to share your love or appreciation for your favourite celebrities? You can pin images of them on your favourite celebrities board you created, or create an individual board for him/her and add photos and videos on there. 
  • To help you get started, type in the name of the thing you want to search for in the search box., then hit the search icon. You will see lots of images/pins. When you have found one you like, click on either 'Pin it', the heart symbol for Like or arrow to send the pin to someone on Facebook. If you have Facebook that is. Unlike Twitter, you can pin as many photos and videos as you want in say a single day and not get penalised for it. 
  • To create a new board, click on the create a board box and you will see another tab. In that tab, give it a title, brief description on what it is about, and select a category from the drop- down menu. If you only want private users to see the board, where it says secret, select 'Yes'. If you want to make a group board for other users to pin on it, where it says 'Keep it secret', click on 'No' and it will switch to 'Yes'. Then select 'Save Changes'. 
  • People say Pinterest is stupid and pointless compared to say Instagram, but those are the same people who don't understand it and how it works for them to make it work for themselves. 
  • Like Twitter, you can follow and unfollow other users as and when you like, without requiring their permission to do so. You don't necessarily to have to know them to follow their boards. 
  • You may also share pins on Twitter and Facebook to your fellow followers or fans. 

  • Don't expect people to converse with you, as interaction levels on the site are low. This is not the website for you if a) all you want to do is share your own images and not use the pin button to add images from websites b) if all you expect is people to talk to you and c) you treat it like it is Instagram. Or Facebook, or Twitter - a big mistake to do. As Pinterest is in many ways different from all those sites. 
  • Remember to give credit to images that are from their original sources, where possible; if it is from a person, state who that person is. 

And there you have it: That's the step by step guide to using Pinterest. I hope this post will encourage you to sign up and use it. Sign up, give it a go, you might enjoy it a lot. I know I do!

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