What is the big deal about Pinterest?

Over the last year the social media site Pinterest has grown at an exponential rate. The site has more recipes, home decor, home remodeling, and how-to’s than Ted Turner has bison patties. Since its inception it has consumed more women’s time than Anonymous has spent hacking government databases.

Users of Pinterest “pin” web pages links on “boards.” These boards can be themed to most any interest. “Following” others on Pinterest allows you to see what they pin to their board. If you like a particular item on another person’s board, you can “repin” it to your board. Influence on Pinterest is measured by the number of followers and numbers of repins.

For many, many years Sonya (my wife) crammed recipes into notebooks. Reading through various magazines inevitably led to pages ripped out and put into binders. Those were the “one day I’m doing this in our house” binders.

Recently I realized, for her, Pinterest is a visual, organized, readily accessible, virtual binder. The pages that once filled our laundry room are still there, but few have been added since she joined Pinterest.

But that was not the most unusual thing. Last week Sonya told me if Pinterest began charging she would pay to keep her account. If you know anything at all about social media you know that “how shall we monetize” is the billion dollar question. ($64,000 was just way too cheap.) Facebook users threaten armed revolt every time the idea makes the rounds. Twitter has banner ads and “sponsored” tweets. That is just a polite way of saying someone I do not follow paid to force themselves onto my feed.

pinterest screenshot

Click to see Sonya’s Pinterest pinboard. She recently passed 9,000 pins and nearly 400 followers.


So the idea of someone who would willingly and unhesitatingly pay to use a particular social media really caught my attention.

I had already begun to think through how Pinterest is different from other types of social media. I have settled on this for one primary difference: Pinterest serves as a repository of information people access again and again. It’s combination virtual bulletin board, notebook and file cabinet all in one online stop. As my wife said, “I don’t want to lose all of that; I’ve worked too hard to get it together.”

If that is the case with a large percentage of users, Pinterest may find a way to become profitable where other social media have not been successful, or have feared to try.

If you are on Pinterest, please leave me a comment stating why you are drawn to it. If you are a “power user,” would you pay to keep all the pins you have? Do you have a board for blog posts?

Take a second to pass this post along to friends who love Pinterest and ask them to leave an answer.

Marty Duren

Just a guy writing some things.

  • Patty would likely pay for the same reasons Sonja mentioned.

  • Marty, Have you considered starting a Pintrest account? It appears to no longer be a “Facebook for ladies” website. I know John Acuff has a Pintrest account. Marsha has one and she loves it but doesn’t spend a lot of time on it. I am entertaining the idea of getting an account. Are you familiar with Gentlemint.com? It is a Pintrest type website for men.

    • martyduren

      I, uh, cough, have a Pinterest account. Mostly I used it to post my blog info. Admittedly I have not gotten the hang of it. pinterest.com/martyduren

      I have seen Gentlemint but have not explored it much.

  • martyduren

    So, I write on a subject of interest predominantly to women only to have 3 immediate comments by men.

  • I’d definitely pay to use it. I hope they never charge for basic usage, but if they offered expanded services of some sort for a fee, I would likely pay. On my page, I have a board for recipes I want to try, recipes I’ve tried and liked, and a board for the recipes I’m going to make that week. When I’m planning my meals for the week, I decide which recipe I want to make and then move that Pin onto the weekly menu board. Some users break down their recipes into all sorts of different categories like vegetable side dishes, chicken dishes, soups, italian, chinese, etc. Pinterest is the most expansive, not to mention interactive, cookbook ever to exist. I’ve gone through dozens of magazines that I’d been saving, found the recipes I want to try online, Pinned them to my boards, then gave the magazines away. There sure is a lot more room on my bookshelves now.

    • martyduren

      I should get you and mom to co-write a post about Pinterest and productivity.

  • Debra Smith Ward

    I haven’t been pinning very long, but i would probably pay to use Pinterest, also. It would be infinitely less expensive than the magazine subscriptions it would take to access the same amount of info. And as addictions go, it would certainly be cheaper than crack, with the same kind of high–euphoria, staying up all night, boundless energy. lol.

  • Pinterest was beginning to grow in popularity just before I got engaged and started to plan my wedding. I would have had a much plainer and less “creative” wedding without it. Now that the wedding is over, I use it mostly if I am looking for something in particular. I have mixed feelings about Pinterest. It has helped me make a few crafty things, many yummy things, and hundreds of dreams. But, I think Pinterest leaves me feeling envious, inadequate and dissatisfied more often than not. If it came down to it, I don’t think I would pay for Pinterest, at least not at first. I would see if I could accomplish what I needed to from other resources. But then I would get lazy and just break down and purchase a subscription :)

    I recently found a link to “Must Follow Christian Women on Pinterest” and I have really liked what it has done to my home feed. Lots of good marriage advice and uplifting pens! I don’t really know how I ended up on a 3 month old post of yours, but I enjoy reading your blog! These past three days of posts have been difficult to read but I am really looking forward to tomorrow’s post! I have heard that sex-trafficking goes on here in America and I kind of just dismissed it, but to hear what actually goes on nearby, not in a big city, is shocking.