Joining Pinterest - dummies

By Kelby Carr

Pinterest is an online pinboard, a visual take on the social bookmarking site. For the time being, Pinterest is an invitation-only site, though presumably it will eventually become open to public registrations. But don’t fret! Getting an invitation and signing up is pretty darn easy.

The Pinterest home page.

The Pinterest home page.

To get started with Pinterest, your first stop is the Pinterest home page. You have two options for joining Pinterest at the time of this writing: requesting an invitation from Pinterest, or getting a friend who is already on Pinterest to invite you.

To sign up on Pinterest, you must register via either a Facebook account or a Twitter account.

How to request an invitation from Pinterest

Requesting an invitation is quite simple:

  1. On the Pinterest home page, click the large, red Request an Invite button at the top.

    A form appears.


  2. Enter your e-mail address and click the Request Invitation button.

    Now you just have to wait for Pinterest to send you an invite. You’ll receive a confirmation e-mail letting you know you’re on the wait list. A formal invitation will arrive in your inbox in a day or two.

    If you don’t receive the confirmation e-mail within minutes, check your e-mail’s spam folder. If the confirmation e-mail goes into spam, the chances are good the actual invitation will land in the spam folder as well, and you’ll miss it. If the confirmation e-mail did land there, use your e-mail provider’s method for reporting that an e-mail is not spam.

Ask a Pinterest member for an invitation

The quicker and easier method of getting an invitation is to ask for one from a friend who’s already a Pinterest member. The great advantage to this method is that you get instant gratification because you receive your invite immediately (rather than being on the wait list). The disadvantage is that you need to know someone who is a Pinterest member. That might not be as difficult as you think, however; Pinterest has over 4 million users.

Here are a few ways to find a friend to ask to invite you:

  • Post a status update on Twitter or Facebook that you’re seeking an invitation to Pinterest.

  • Search for Pinterest on Twitter to see whether someone you know is a member already.

  • Check the Pinterest page on Facebook for people you know. When you click the Like button, you’ll see a list of your friends who are Pinterest fans. From there, you can message a friend and ask for an invitation.


  • Browse to see whether someone already there is a friend of yours. You can either visit the home page pins to see whether you recognize any names (a long shot) or type a name into the Search field in the top-left corner of the screen. When you get the results, click People to view search results by users’ names.

  • Post on other social networks, such as Google+, to see whether someone is a member of Pinterest.