Pinterest: We’re All Curators Now

Lately I’ve been obsessed with Pinterest. Since a colleague invited me a few weeks ago, I’ve spent hours browsing gorgeous print layouts and packaging designs, and been inspired by more stylish architecture than I’d find in any number of shelter magazines. All selected and carefully sorted by discerning users. Or retailers like West Elm, Wholefoods and Etsy.

How did the site suddenly appear fully formed, filled with inspirational images and smart curating?

It was launched in March 2010 and, while currently still by invitation only, (to join, you need to be invited by a user, or you can apply, and are placed on a waiting list) reached, according to, 4.45 million unique visitors in November 2011, almost 50% growth on the previous month.

Mashable had a fascinating Q & A with designer and co-founder Evan Sharp the other day where he explained that he went through over 50 iterations working on the visual look, to create a site that has the feel of a personal collection, rather than the chronological feed typical of social networking sites.

That’s the great thing about the site. It’s beautiful and simple, and you don’t need to share your daily activities or personal details to join the conversation, just a few images you find inspiring.

It’s the perfect starter social network for users who are reluctant to share.

Although, in another example of how ubiquitous Facebook is, once invited, you login though your Facebook (or Twitter) account. Which is great, as you don’t need to memorize another username and password, and it allows Pinterest access to the social graph.

But what about people who don’t want to allow that access? It seems you can turn off the connection to your FB account once registered. Or you can just enjoy the images uploaded by others.

Try it out and curate your own personal collection. But be warned: it’s addictive.

By Gavin Strumpman

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