How to Use Pinterest

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Understand What Pinterest Is All About


You’ve heard about it from friends, you’ve read about it on blogs, and you’ve been convinced that it’s hottest the thing on the web. Everyone’s on Pinterest and it seems as if everyone absolutely loves it.

What Is Pinterest?

Before you jump on board with everyone else, you should first understand what Pinterest is all about.

Put simply, Pinterest is a kind of online pinboard – mostly for collecting visual pieces of multimedia. Images are mostly shared on Pinterest.

You can create as many pinboards as you want, which is great for organization. For example, if you like collecting pictures of zoo animals, you can create a board and label it “Animals.” On the other hand, if you also like collecting recipes, you can create another board and label it “Recipes.”

Pinterest users interact with each other through liking, commenting, and repinning each other’s stuff. That’s what makes it such a hot social network.​

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Get An Invite

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At the time of this writing, Pinterest is not open to everybody. You can visit and enter your email address in the Invite form by pressing the “Request an Invite” button to let them know that you’re interested in creating an account.

It may take anywhere from a day to a few weeks or so before your Pinterest account is created. Just be patient!

Once you receive your invite, Pinterest will take you through the steps of creating your free account.

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Set Up Your Personal Preferences

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In the top right corner, you should see your name and avatar picture, which displays a drop-down menu of all your settings when you roll your mouse over it.

Invite Friends/Find Friends: You can invite friends without Pinterest accounts or find friends with existing Pinterest accounts by using email or your Facebook network.

Boards: Displays all the pinboards you created.

Pins: Displays all the things you recently pinned.

Likes: Displays all the things you liked by pressing the heart icon (found on each pin).

Settings: Change all your personal settings like your bio, profile picture, email, password, location, website, social networks and privacy settings.

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Add Things to Your Boards

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Here comes the fun part. Now that you’ve spent some time setting up your account and you have a brief understanding of how Pinterest really works, you can start adding things to your boards.

To add anything, all you have to do is click the “Add +” option.

Add a Pin: Use this option if there is a direct URL to a specific image you want to pin.

Upload a Pin: Use this option if the image is on your computer, so you can upload it to the web.

Create a Board: Use this to create different boards and to keep your pins organized.

Hint: You can create new boards even as you pin something new. Before you pin a new image, Pinterest will ask you which board to pin it to, and you can even create a new board if desired.

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Follow Other Users

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If you come to find that you really like the boards and pins of specific users, you can follow them so that their stuff will show up on your personal homepage board feed (when you’re signed in to Pinterest).

Simply click the username of any Pinterest user to pull up their profile and click “Follow All” to follow that user’s boards or you can alternatively follow specific boards of that user if you just want to follow a few.

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Interact with Other Users

How to Use Pinterest

Pinterest’s intuitive user platform makes it extremely easy for anyone to share and interact with other people.

When you roll your mouse over every pinned item, you should see the following buttons pop up:

Repin: Use this to repin the item to one of your own boards.

Like: Click this to let the user know you put your own sort of “stamp of approval” on that item by liking it.

Comment: If you have something to say about the pinned item, feel free to leave a comment.​

If you click on any pinned item, you can also see it in a larger view frame with even more options. You can tweet the link, post it to your Facebook profile, embed the code onto a website, and see related pinned items from the same board and user.

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Discover New Things by Navigating Through Pinterest


On your homepage and when signed in, you should notice a few options in the middle of the top menu bar. These will help you find new users to follow and new things to pin to your boards.

Pinners you follow: The default setting of the homepage displays all the things that people you follow are pinning.

Everything: Roll your mouse over this option to display a list of categories of things you can browse through.

Videos: Although images are the main things that get shared on Pinterest, there’s also a special section for videos too.

Popular: See what kind of stuff is generating the most interest, the most repins, the most likes and the most comments on Pinterest.

Gifts: Users like to recommend things they buy or products they sell on places like Etsy. Gifts are categorized by price Click on any item to enlarge it and scroll down to the bottom to see the website link where you can purchase the item.

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