What is Pinterest and how to use it?

Aug 6, 2012, 8:21 a.m.

By now, you've probably heard of Pinterest. It's an online community of people sharing just about anything on the web through virtual pin boards that link to just about anything you can think of. At some point, your friends and family have probably told you about the great recipes, jokes, or DIY tips they've found through Pinterest, enough to make you ask the question "How do I use Pinterest?" Well, wonder no more! Here are a few steps to get you started and "pinning" like a pro.

Signing up for Pinterest

Before you can begin, you have to sign up for Pinterest. This is so you can keep track of other pinners who you follow and save your pins. Since Pinterest is still relatively new, you will need an official invitation to sign up. Pinterest invites are pretty easy to come by. Friends and family on Pinterest can send you an invitation through Facebook or email, or you can click "Request an Invite" at the top of the main Pinterest page. Once you have your invite, you can either create an ID or you can sign in with your Facebook or Twitter account.

Following people on Pinterest

Since Pinterest is an online community, you'll want to find some people to follow. This will always ensure that your Pinterest wall is full of fresh new things that appeal to you. After signing up, Pinterest suggests people for you to follow. If you've signed in with your Facebook or Twitter credentials, you will be notified which of your friends on those sites use Pinterest, and you'll be given the option to follow them.

You can also search for people to follow. At the top left of the main Pinterest page, you'll find a search function. Type in anything you like here, such as chocolate chip cookie recipe . You are now faced with hundreds of photos of yummy cookies! At the bottom of each photo is the name and picture of the person who pinned that recipe. Click their name and see what else they've pinned. If you like it, you can follow them.

Create boards

Next, create some pin boards of your own. Pinterest automatically makes some for you. You can keep those, delete them, or rename them. To access your pin boards, click your name on the top right corner of the main website page. You can have as many pin boards as you want, for any topic you like: shoes, art, recipes, craft ideas, etc.

How to Pin

Now the fun part: pinning. There are two basic ways you can pin. You can hover your mouse over a photo on Pinterest and choose "Repin," or you can simply drag the "Pin It" button from the "About" menu of Pinterest into your web browser toolbar so that you can pin directly from websites. See a pair of shoes you like on your favorite website? Pin it!

Pinterest is addictive, fun, and very easy to use. If you follow these few steps, it won't be long before you're a bona fide Pinterest pro. Pretty soon, you'll be sending Pinterest invites to your friends and sharing your discoveries with everyone you know.

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