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What Is Pinterest?

Pinterest is an online pinboard, a visual take on the social bookmarking site. Unlike other social bookmarking sites, such as Digg and StumbleUpon, content shared on Pinterest is driven entirely by visuals. In fact, you can’t share something on Pinterest unless an image is involved.

Like every other social media site, Pinterest has its own lingo:

  • When you share something on Pinterest, each bookmark is called a pin.

  • When you share someone else’s pin on Pinterest, it’s called a repin.

  • You group pins together by topic onto various boards or pinboards in your profile. Each board mimics a real-life pinboard.

You can share images you find online, or you can directly upload images onto Pinterest. Using the Pin It button, you can share directly in your browser from any web page. You can also share your pins on Twitter and Facebook.

The Pinterest home page.
The Pinterest home page.

The first time you visit Pinterest, you may notice immediately that it’s an aesthetically pleasing site. You can see how much it relies on visually stunning photos. The second thing you may notice is that you can’t join without an invitation. Presumably, the site will eventually become open to public registrations, but it’s currently in invitation-only mode.

You don't have to have a Pinterest account to look around the place, though. If you hover over the word Everything right at the top of the screen, a pop-up box will give you links to things people have pinned in various categories, from Architecture to Humor to Weddings & Events.

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