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Explained: What is Pinterest & How to Use It


Wondering what is it that makes Pinterest so different from other social media platforms? Here is a guide to know what it offers, how it works and more:

- Updated: 14th Jan 2023, 22:04 IST
  • 1
    What is Pinterest?
    • In simpler words,
  • 2
    How Does Pinterest Work?
    • 1. Connecting via Facebook, or Twitter, or E-mail:
    • 2. Follow Some Boards
    • 3. Get Pinning
    • 4. Start Creating Your Own Boards on Pinterest
    • 6. Your Profile on Pinterest
  • 3
    All in all,

I feel, if you’re here, then have likely heard people obsess over Pinterest and now you’re curious about what it is and how to use it. Until a few years (or a decade, shall I say) ago, Facebook was the way to be connected with our friends and family. It marked its presence in social media as THE app/website of choice. But, since then, things have changed; Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, and so much more have come to the market. Social media reach and platforms have expanded and grown in the past few years. One such social media platform is Pinterest.

Now hearing of Pinterest, you might be at a loss for how to get started or even understand what makes it so famous? If you want to know exactly what it is, how it works, and why is it so famous? Follow this easy guide to joining and using the social pin-board site.

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What is Pinterest?

The official help pages describe Pinterest as a “Visual discovery engine“. Interestingly, this is totally apt. It helps you quickly find the visual resources you need, whatever your project may be – cooking recipes, mood boards, and more. The ease of it along with its user-friendly interface is why it remains popular. You can literally spend hours just scrolling.

You can use this social media platform as a social networking tool. However, not everyone does. In fact, it’s more common to use it as a source of inspiration to collect ideas on interior decorating, travel, and fashion.

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In simpler words,

Pinterest is a social media site that has gained popularity with its unique take on social media. For starters, the site is a giant step away from our usual Facebook and Twitter format. But it is also a little ( & I mean, very little) similar to Instagram. It is an image-pinning website that has been around since 2009. Its picture-collecting capabilities are designed to curate and share visual ideas.

Although Pinterest has been around for a while. But not everyone has used it. When people think of Pinterest they might also think “aesthetic” or beautiful pictures. It offers an app so you can use it on either your smartphone or on your desktop. You can use Pinterest on the desktop using the site’s recommended browsers Chrome, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge, or get the mobile app for iOS or Android.

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Although you might have a small understanding of what this particular social media is about. You are yet to understand what makes it so different and how does Pinterest work? Here’s a guide for you below:

How Does Pinterest Work?

Well, first of all, you will have to join Pinterest (link here). Now, the site will ask you to join by connecting with Facebook or Twitter. But don’t worry there’s a third option, it lets you sign up using your email address.

1. Connecting via Facebook, or Twitter, or E-mail:

You need to give the app permission to access your basic info, email address, birthday, and likes. This lets the app post activity on your behalf, though you can decide whether or not your pins get reposted to Facebook. Whereas, by connecting with Twitter, you’re giving the app permission to read tweets from your timeline. Basically see who you follow and follow new people, update your profile, and post tweets for you.

Welcome Page

If you are one to be interconnected throughout your social media apps, then these two options are just right for you. But, if you are not, the third option might just be the best available option for you to connect to Pinterest. Although you might be asked a few more questions such as your gender Considering that information isn’t imported from an existing social media account. Now you have to simply upload a profile photo and proceed.

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2. Follow Some Boards

Once your account is up and running, you need some boards to come up on your feed. Because you log in as a first time user or a returning user, you’ll see an endless, scrolling wall of pictures related to your interests. This wall of pictures is your Home Feed. Just like other social networking platforms, it is where subjects and posts from people you follow are pooled.

Follow Boards

But the biggest difference between Pinterest’s Home Feed to other’s social networking platform’s Home Feed is that Pinterest is all visual. No need for words, captions — the pictures do the talking for you.

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Pinterest Home Feed

Moreover, keep in mind that the topics or the content in your Home Feed will change as the algorithm learns what kind of topic you’re currently interested in. Meaning, if you search for cupcakes; Pinterest will in its algorithm decide that the user like cupcakes, so it might also like macaroons. So, next time, when you are accessing your Home Feed on Pinterest you will find yourself with relative images of cake and cupcakes as a result. This is designed to get you to explore further.

Pinterest Search Bar

Additionally, in Pinterest’s very own Home Feed, you will also find a Search Bar. At the top of your screen in the left-hand corner, you will find it. By typing a keyword into this bar, you can look up particular tags or topics that might not be showing up on your feed. Once you type in a word, Pinterest will suggest other topics that may be related to it. These topics show up as coloured “buttons” beneath them.

3. Get Pinning

Now, this stays THE most important factor or even use of using Pinterest. The social media site gives you the ability to “pin” or save pinned items. You may ask, what exactly is Pinning? Well, Pinning basically means that you store a collection of images together to form some sort of organization.

Pinterest Create

You can peruse the pins of people you follow on your home feed. When you see an image you want to pin, simply hover over it and click the red Pin It button that appears in the upper left-hand corner. You’ll be asked to put it on one of your boards and add a description. However, clicking elsewhere on the image enlarges it.

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That whole Home Feed on Pinterest? Each individual image is a “pin” that someone else has put up.

Create Pin

Furthermore, you can upload your own pins. Say you have a picture of an awesome dinner you concocted or something else; visit the Your Pins page and click the plus button that says “Add a pin.” Here you can upload your image, pick its board, and add a description. Others can then repin your image.

4. Start Creating Your Own Boards on Pinterest

You need to build boards in order to collect and organize items you’re interested in. But what exactly is a Board on Pinterest? It is the fourth most important aspect of Pinterest. Boards are where you store individual pins, either for private use or for the public to show off to others.

Create Board

To create a board, click on your user name in the top right-hand corner of your screen, next to Following. When you get to your profile page, click on the + sign, seen here highlighted in Red. Click on Create Board. You can create a board with a specific theme or purpose, and set it to private or public.

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Once you create a board you can pin items to it. By clicking Edit Board at the top you can also invite others to pin to your board. But you need to either follow the user or enter their associated email address to do so.

Oh! Pinterest also has the option for its users to create a secret board. Whatever you pin to this board is only visible to you and those you invite to it. So, simply toggle this switch to make that particular board private.

6. Your Profile on Pinterest

After covering the most important aspects of what makes Pinterest so interesting, let’s just see what the Your Profile is all about. As the name suggests, it is the place where you will find all the Pins you save, boards you create, and Pins you try in your profile.

You can also see who’s following you and the boards and people you follow. Anyone can see your profile, but your secret boards will stay hidden. Only you can see your secret boards when you view your own profile. Again, you must remember, how your use of your Pinterest account makes a difference in your followers. If it’s for personal interest, business or even social networking — the number of followers will be all different.

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However, you can also find entire companies creating an ecosystem of curated boards on their profile pages. There’s also an option to upgrade to a professional business account. This type of account gives you access to analytics tools and the ability to pitch ads through the network.

All in all,

This platform is perfect for saving your to-do craft list, recipes to try, fun activities to try with the kids, organization tips, and on and on! You could even use Pinterest to “Pin” inspiring articles you’d like to reference back to like savings tips or “how to” posts! So, why not give it a try? Who knows – maybe some pins will inspire you to start a hobby business.


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