In an age where technology seems to change minute by minute, images remain as powerful as ever.
On Facebook, for example, content that includes an image is Liked twice as many times as posts using just text, according to social analytics company SimplyMeasured. Luckily, there’s a wealth of platforms allowing us to communicate visually – Instagram & Snapchat among others – but Pinterest is my favourite. A few months ago, I saw the Paul Smith exhibition at the Design Museum, which is set up as a number of smaller rooms connected by a main artery, filled floor to ceiling with prints that inspired the designer. Pinterest is a bit that in the digital space: a wall of disparate photos, illustrations and paintings curated by the user.
One of the great things about Pinterest is its eclectic approach, allowing users to use their imagination to compile more literal collections (‘Graphic Design’) to abstract ones (‘Dreamworld‘). From my own personal stable, I love curating my Cityscapes board, where I celebrate the world’s concrete jungles, although they don’t seem quite so romantic in the morning rush hour.
And don’t forget the traditional collection of curiosities – always good for a laugh:
Other than being a store of eye candy, Pinterest has some more practical day-to-day uses:
- Bookmarking: Better than evernote or list apps, its a good place to make note of gift ideas (via a secret board, of course) or future purchases. I record etsy finds in my ‘Sartorial P0rn’ board for when I’m feeling flush
- Price alerts: Pinterest will notify you when products you pin drop in price
- Learning: Both those idiot-proof how-to guides, and more highbrow information like the changing silhouette of hats
- Content discovery: Self-explanatory. Clicking through to the link behind a pin could take you to a new blog or website you love
- Business: For small business owners like vintage retailers, its a good way of raising awareness around products without incentivising people to click on a link
- Prettifying your browser: Chrome users can select one of their pins to liven up a dull default background
Pinterest has also translated into real life with Pinned it! Made it! events, making a nice change from passive digital consumption. While I’m not among the Pinterest craft army, its a nice thought that knowledge gained through social media can lead to something tangible, whether a cake recipe or ideas to customise tights.