Whilst scrapbooking used to be considered within the same niche as stamp collecting and badminton, a few years ago it exploded into a mainstream trend. Department stores and even supermarkets began to sell coloured paper and fiddly crafty parts in plastic and it became not uncommon for your local pub's Cheap Parmis Tuesday to include a nearby table of happily scrapbooking ladies. (True story.)
Add to this new creative conscience a form of digital scrapbooking and we have what has turned out to be an exceedingly well-liked concept, which has stunned social media users all around the world with its success. Welcome, Pinterest.
Pinterest became noticed on the social media ranks last year when it was mentioned on Time Magazine’s list of ‘Best 50 Websites.’ It then released an Iphone app which quickly became of the most popular apps around, paving the way for Pinterest to become the third most popular social media site, after only Facebook and Twitter.
So, how does Pinterest work?
It works just like an online pinboard or scrapbook with the ability to put almost any image you find online onto your board. In this way you "collect" images around a topic that interests you, and look at the collections of others.
Household names like Target and high fashion like Prada also promote their wares on this network by making high-quality images available, hoping to drive sales and brand exposure.
The site explains, "Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web."
Typical users will happily post pins citing their inspired images for things like their dream home or wedding dresses. A Google search for "Pinterest wedding" displays a whopping 177 million results, testifying to the influence of this site.
A Geelong wedding photographer has only praise for Pinterest, labeling it a "creative person's best friend."
"It's one of the best websites, apps, ever invented," she raves.
The unique concept of Pinterest combines the success of social media which we’ve seen with Facebook and Twitter – interacting and "liking" content – but in a very visual, collaborative way. People pin anything from dog collars to home décor to macaroons.
Everyone wants a slice of this pie and that certainly includes businesses who have recognised the potential of this site and are their for one reason: to promote their wares.
A lesser known factor of Pinterest is the legal issue of who owns what content users post, recently highlighted in the case of a photographer who took down her pin boards out of fear of copyright breach.
For those scared by this issue, the way to get around it is simple – upload only your own content, or pin items that are clearly labelled as being public. And above all, have fun!
Subscribe to our monthly newsletter for useful advice and news from the web.