What Is Pinterest? Its Remarkable History From A to Z

February 02, 2023
what is pinterest

Today, we will be talking about the Pinboard business. It might sound like an old-fashioned way of sparking creativity at first, but today’s article proves that the idea discovered is now a multi-billion dollar business.

Here is an overview of Pinterest or the visual discovery engine for finding ideas. 

  • What is Pinterest? 
  • How does Pinterest work?
  • What is its impressive story?

We will explain everything you need to know about the famous social media network in a very simple way. Let’s get started!

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a social network where users can visually share and discover new interests by posting images and videos on their own and other people’s boards (usually with a common theme).

In other words, Pinterest is a visual search engine for finding home and style inspiration, makeup, skincare, food recipes, and many more.

What is Pinterest

With billions of Pins on Pinterest, you can always find inspirational ideas. Find your favorite Pins and save them to boards to keep your ideas organized and easy to find. You can also create Pins to share your ideas and hobbies with others on Pinterest.

How does Pinterest work?

Now, what do regular users do on Pinterest? 

As we mentioned above, Pinterest is used for discovering new inspirational content. People save their favorite ideas, grouping them into boards.

You should understand that the content on the Pinterest platform is visual, and all these images which you see on Pinterest are called Pins. So, if we look through all the Pins, most of them will be linked to some websites or landing pages. To visit the site, you usually need to click on the pin title or on the link at the bottom of the image.

Also, most of the regular users on Pinterest don’t want to get followers. They are saving ideas for themselves, and they often even keep their boards secret for that reason.

So, unlike other social networks, on Pinterest, user interaction is not the platform’s main purpose. It’s more for the discovery of ideas and for saving them and checking later.

How does Pinterest work?

From Simple Prototype to Multi-Billion Dollar Company: Pinterest’s Impressive History

It is always fun and interesting to know how it all started. Let’s have a look and go back to 2009; that’s when it all started for Pinterest.

Early 2009: From Paper Catalogs to Prototype

Ben Silberman and Paul Sciarra got the idea for Pinterest from another application they had created earlier, called Tote, which was meant to replace paper catalogs with a digital version.

At the end of December 2009, the first rudimentary version of Pinterest was born.

2010 – 2013: 0 to 50 Million Global Users

Development on Pinterest began in December 2009, and the site released a prototype to close beta in March 2010. Nine months after going live, the site had 10,000 users. By December 2010, Pinterest had grown to 10,000 users.

In early 2010, Ben and his company’s investors decided to sell the network to a New York-based magazine publisher, but the company refused.

The idea of ​​online pinboards was new to him in 2010, but people already knew how to use pinboards.

2014 – 2017: Google Enters the Scene

In 2014, Pinterest made its first revenue when it began charging advertisers to promote its products to the site’s millions of craftsmen, holiday planners, and home improvement enthusiasts. Advertisements on the site could bring him as much as $500 million in revenue in 2016, estimates Wedbush Securities analyst Michael Pachter.

In 2015, investors valued Pinterest, Inc. at $11 billion, making it a “unicorn” (a startup worth more than $1 billion). As of 2017, the company was worth $12 billion.

In June 2017, Pinterest raised $150 million from an existing group of investors.

Social media advertising competition

2018 – 2021: Fierce Competition in the Ads World

By 2018, just eight years after Silbermann, Sharp, and Sciarra first unveiled their prototypes, Pinterest had grown into a social giant.

In 2019 the company had yet to find a way to compete in the online advertising space dominated by Google and Facebook, but based on strong revenue growth and advertiser fascination with mobile search technology, it plans to expand its portfolio in mid-2019.

On October 20, 2021, Bloomberg reported that PayPal was interested in acquiring Pinterest for a potential price of about $70 per share of his shares.

2022 – 2023: Pinterest Persists 

On June 28, 2022, Pinterest announced that Co-Founder, CEO, and President Ben Silberman would transition to the newly created role of Executive Chairman, while online commerce expert Bill Ready would join the CEO and Board of Directors. At his CES in January 2023, Pinterest announced a partnership with data enablement platform LiveRamp to create a data “clean room” for select advertisers on the platform.

These “clean rooms” allow Pinterest’s advertising partners to use first-party data for personalized advertising without sharing the data with Pinterest. As privacy is a major concern for online platforms and their users, this partnership is an attempt to keep users’ data safe and compliant with new data collection regulations while facilitating advertising businesses on the platform. The first advertiser to test the feature is Albertsons, a grocery retailer.

Key Takeaways 

Pinterest: a multi-billion dollar business is used for discovering new inspirational content, and in many cases, Pinterest users have buyer intent through links.

  • People save items they enjoy on Pinterest using Pins, which are bookmarks.
  • You can link websites or landing pages to Pins and attract more leads.
  • Without sharing the data with Pinterest, “clean rooms” enable Pinterest’s advertising partners to leverage first-party data for targeted advertising.

Now that you know what is Pinterest, its background, and how it works, tell us how you’ll use the social network for your next marketing campaign!

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