It is not very often that a social network or blogging tool takes over the social media empire so quickly. Facebook took months to develop and get users, Twitter took years, and it seems as if Pinterest took a matter of days. I got an invitation as soon as it was developed (that’s what I get for being obsessed with social media and networking).
After using it for a few minutes, I noticed it is strangely similar to Tumblr, which is known as blogging platform for hipsters, musicians, artists, and people of the sort. I always liked Tumblr for its aspect of reblogging, which Pinterest has picked up. Instead of just re-blogging posts like Tumblr, Pinterest allows users to pin things to different boards. I have boards like technology, food, and nature. Users can create boards, share pins, and follow other’s boards. You can even connect your pins to Facebook: so if you didn’t already know what 800 of your closest friends are doing, you certainly do now! One thing unique to Pinterest that I can find is it’s “Pin Etiquette”, which can be found in the help section. Pinterest professionals encourage users to be nice, credit sources, avoid self-promotion, report objectionable content, and tell them how to make Pinterest better. Yes, Tumblr users credit sources and are nice to each other, as Tumblr is often regarded as a tight-knit community. However, I have never seen developers encourage sharing and citing as much as the Pinterest professionals have been since it’s inception.
Another use of Pinterest that I did not see on Tumblr is ways journalists can use it for their work. Through this Mashable article, journalists are encouraged to use Pinterest for featuring stories, pin from their phone, find ideas for trend stories, use the archive of images for your reporting, create a photojournalism profile, use it as an online storyboard, and curate the news. Now more than ever, EVERYONE can be a journalist, not to mention everyone can be a photojournalist thanks to smart phones. Tumblr is also a place for reporting news. However, the audience of these two micro-blogging platforms is different. Tumblr is used sometimes with small groups of professionals or college groups (see how Penn State views the world water crisis), but is largely made up of memes, pictures of celebrities, or people gossiping about pop culture. Yes, Pinterest embodies these characteristics as well, but it seems to have an older audience.