So what's the buzz about Pinterest? What about it has caused its popularity to skyrocket, and what about it has attracted criticism? The following is a list of the website's high and low points, so you can figure out if its worth signing up for.
Free to use - Whether you use Pinterest for yourself or for your business, it's absolutely free!
Keep yourself organized - By creating "boards" (i.e. custom categories), you can organize your "pins" (i.e. bookmarks) however you want. One board could be for recipes, one for decor ideas, one for photographs you like, one for tips on staying healthy and active, and so on.
Many ways to fill in your boards - You can add pins to your boards in multiple ways. You can upload a file from your computer and use that as a pin, or you can create a pin by typing in a web page's address. And you can always just search for a pin that someone else has already posted!
Pin right along with your friends - Wondering which of your friends are already using Pinterest? Link your account with your other social media accounts -- such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus -- and get connected!
Share boards with as many or as few people as you want - Create "group boards" to let multiple people pin to the same board, if you share a common interest. Or, create a "secret board," where nobody knows where it is or what pins are on it except you and the people whom you specifically choose.
A new way to search - Pinterest uses a system known as "guided search." If you don't find what you're looking for on the first go, your search terms become keywords that you can add and remove as you see fit until you get where you want to go. You can also organize your results by pins, boards, or users.
Be careful about getting wanderlust - With so much to see and discover on Pinterest, it's easy to lose track of time when using it. Make sure to watch the clock!
Mind your privacy - "Secret boards" cannot be made private again once you make them public, and "pins" that you create are almost impossible to get rid of (even if you delete them) once other people have shared them. In general, like any social media website, be careful about what kinds of information about yourself you post on Pinterest.
Watch out for "bait-and-switch" tactics - There are currently a few tools for verifying Pinterest accounts or bookmarks. Some people may not be who they say they are, and some "pins" may not take you anywhere, or take you somewhere inappropriate or where you can be scammed. Fortunately, this isn't as common as you'd think, and exercising a bit of common sense should steer you clear of most of these kinds of problems.
In addition to the fact that it's totally free to use, one of the most appealing things about Pinterest is its versatility. With its easy-to-use interface and search function, it's great for keeping your online life well-organized. Bring content together from Pinterest, from the Internet at large, and from your own life, and sort it with categories that you create. Plan out travel destinations that you'd like to visit. Get ideas on arts and crafts that you can give as gifts or use to personalize your home decor. Stock up on fashion pins to put together a new look that you want to try. Collect tips on how to stay active and improve your sports or fitness performance. Whatever you want to organize, Pinterest will help you do it. Of course, if you just want to wander around and discover neat things that other people have found, that's totally great, too!
Pinterest isn't perfect, though. Like many other social media websites, there are some privacy issues, especially when you connect with other social media accounts, or you make your public boards private. There are also a few security issues that have to do with people not being who they say they are (especially when it comes to celebrity users) and posting fake pins or fake boards to collaborate on.
However, these are problems that are relatively rare, and can easily be avoided with a bit of common sense. That all aside, Pinterest.com is a safe and fun way to discover and organize your life, both in the virtual world and the real one.
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