Growing up, Ben Silbermann liked to collect things - stamps, insects, you name it. At Yale, he studied medicine and political science and after college, he got a job as a consultant in Washington, D.C. Not exactly typical start-up material, but today he's CEO of one of the world's top social networks.
The route to running Pinterest began when he and a college friend, Paul Sciarra, along with Evan Sharp, started working on a site on which people could show collections of things they were interested in, on an interactive pin-board format.
Pinterest launched in June 2010 and is a free website where users can upload, save, sort, and manage images - known as pins - through collections known as pinboards. Pinterest acts as a personalized media platform where users can browse the content of others in their feed. Users can then save individual pins to one of their own boards using the "Pin It" button, with Pinboards typically organized by a central topic or theme.
Users can personalize their experience with Pinterest by pinning items, creating boards, and interacting with other members. The end result is that the "pin feed" of each user displays unique, personalized results.
By July 2016, Pinterest had 110 million active users and a staggering 50 billion pins. 79% of users are female and on average they spend 98 minutes a month of the site.
So why is Pinterest so popular? At its heart, it’s a social network—and when users interact with each other through likes, comments and repins, they are building and strengthening relationships. For many Pinterest users, this interaction is part of the appeal of the site. They connect with fellow bloggers or friends by sharing pins.
As simple as it sounds, Pinterest is relaxing. Designed to be simple, clean, and easy to use, it gives users a way to unwind with pretty pictures that they can curate as they like. Plus, people don’t really like reading any more, and we can all get a little burned out by the constant commenting and opinionating on other sites like Facebook and Twitter. Pinterest offers people a quiet, clean space to browse and bookmark visuals without the social component.
So, why are they #Houseproud heroes?
Pinterest is a fantastic and inspirational tool that allows you to gather a plethora of ideas. It not only provides an incredibly useful aide-memoire for things you like the look of, enabling a much more organised approach to your decoration but it is also a fantastic research tool, a fertile breeding ground for new ideas, and one of the simplest ways to help visualize a decorative projects end results. Ben says:
“I want Pinterest to be human. The Internet's still so abstract... To me, boards are a very human way of looking at the world”
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