When you consider how many social service start-ups there are and have been, you can imagine how hard it is to break through into the semi-mainstream (aka getting mentioned on Mashable or something similar).
Pinterest have succeeded in separating themselves from the pack because of their simplistic, stylish design and philosophy, along with a beautifully well designed product. The service is, as the name suggests, a kind of pin board for your interests. You can create multiple boards, name and arrange them how you like, and then pin images from any website into your boards where you can comment on them. Others can join in by commenting on your pins and follow you.
Interestingly, unlike other social sites where when you join you have no content to view until you add friends to your profile, on Pinterest, you select from a list of general interests when you first sign up and you automatically follow a selection of users that Pinterest suggests based on your selections.
This approach does take away a lot of curative control of your own home screen but after all, you want to come to pinterest to discover new and interesting things, and this way you’re guaranteed to do that. You can always un-follow the people you’ve automatically been paired with if you want to focus on only your contact’s pins.
The site started with a predominant audience of Women who were posting cute stuff and fashion things but it really seems to be branching out well now to a more balanced audience, and it certainly has to potential to encompass far more than it originally did. The site reminds me of Facebook’s Like button where you can like practically everything. Pinterest is a similar concept but it’s less commercial and more about real personal tastes in everything whether it be a mass market product or a home-made trinket that looks really interesting. It’s got such a nice feeling to it, because people make great things and this is a great, simple way to share them with a wide audience.
It’s a great product with fantastic potential. I just hope they keep it simple and focus on user experience when upgrading in future, so they keep the feeling the same.