Pinterest, a service that is currently in private beta, allows users to bring together items of interest that they find on the internet. However, unlike most of the new curation services that are out there, Pinterest focuses on images rather than articles or pages. Because only the images are pulled onto the users’ “pinboards,” Pinterest allows users to generate pages that feel more like mood boards than the average curation page. In addition to saving the images to a user’s pinboard, Pinterest also allows users to comment on each image and sort them onto separate pinboards. Settings allow pinboards to be limited to images from a single user or opened up to images from all Pinterest users which can also make for an interesting collaboration process.
While I personally tend to prefer to save articles along with their images, I think that Pinterest has some great possible uses for those interested in design or who want to save or share images together in a single place. Sometimes when the focus is on the image, separating it from the other content can help to focus viewers on the image and can also make it easier to bring multiple images together. Pinterest suggests that possible uses would include wedding planning, redecoration projects, recipe lists with the focus on appearance of the meals and to bring together inspirational items, though users have found a wide range of other uses for their pinboards as well.
Pinterest has both a mobile version and an iPhone app to allow users to continue to use and add to their pinboards while on the go. The iPhone app makes it easier for users to add their own photos to their pinboard by including an option for users to take photos with their camera’s phone and then add it directly to their pinboard. There is also a bookmarklet available for a variety of browsers (the webpage will sense which browser you are using and provide the appropriate bookmarklet), which allows users to quickly add items to their pinboards directly from other websites.
While Pinterest has been around for a while (I have been using it for about two months), it has been gaining some recent interest, due at least in part to their successful fundraising. It is still in private beta, but users can request invitations on the website’s landing page. I think that designers and artists will be particularly interested in this application, but really it can be a lot of fun for anyone who wants a place to collect images that they find online or photos they take themselves.