I finally received an invite to Pinterest, a photo/link sharing service that has recently exploded in popularity. Now that I’ve used it, I don’t get the big deal. Let me explain my predicament.
There are a few reasons why I haven’t fallen in love with this and they primarily have to do with how the service works, which I will explain:
1. Pinterest works by ‘pinning’ pictures as you surf the web. Whether it’s articles or photos on Flickr (no Facebook linking!), or whatever, once you’ve ‘pinned’ the picture, it links back to the original article/page while it shows up on a board of your creation. These ‘boards’, in turn, are collections of these images divided up how you see fit. Or not divided. Whatever. Your ‘wall’ then is the acquisition of all these photos by post time. Mine just happens to be a bunch of fancy photos of stuff. That’s cool. Except:
2. I don’t have anything to post. In fact, it doesn’t seem to be much of a place to post anything. My friends’ feeds are full of repins from other users and looking at my own, I really just want to repin all the cool stuff I see on my wall, which doesn’t seem useful to me at all. Derivative aggregation is boring, so why would I do that? There’s also the issue that I don’t have much to contribute. Much of the stuff that I absorb on the internet is text with a boring masthead image that, by itself, isn’t worth re-posting. If it’s not an image worth re-posting, then the content that goes with is lost, but I guess that’s not really the point. I have to go out of the way to find content to post on Pinterest.
3. You can’t upload your own content. So even if you do have tons of cool images you’d like to send out to your Pinterest friends, you can’t. You have to upload them somewhere else (like Flickr or Picasa) and then link to them. I guess the appeal is… you know what? I don’t know what the appeal is. I don’t have a clue, really. Pinning stuff is similar to Facebook ‘Likes’, but it doesn’t have the same functionality, because the emphasis on pictures, rather than the actual content. UPDATE: You can upload your own content, but it doesn’t link back to you if re-pinned. Bummer.
4. I’m not a girl. 90% of my Pinterest friends are female, so I guess I’m missing a lot of what’s going on. I guess, because I don’t know! I don’t!
So if someone could explain this to me, go for it.