Pinterest Holds the Secrets of the Universe. Here’s Why…

by Lani Voivod | @LaniVoivod

I got an email a couple months ago. It was from a guy who recently became a Dad for the first time. He was telling me about what it was like for him during those first few weeks of first-time parenthood.

Changing diapers, swaddling a wriggling newborn, doing everything with one arm…you know, the whole adventure.

What really struck him was how much better his wife seemed to be at all of this new stuff than he was. He just didn’t understand it.

For example, when their doctor recommended getting a humidifier, his wife said she already got one. When Max, their son, had his first bath, his wife pulled out a neat, homemade bath kit complete with a tiny towel, comb, and brush.

How the heck did she do it? After all, this was her first time as a parent too! How did she always seem to be two steps ahead of him?

Well, one day he finally blurted out, “How do you know all this stuff already, honey?!” She looked right at him with a big smile and said, “I just follow other parents on Pinterest!”

The funny thing is, the new Dad who sent me the email happens to be a guy named Ben Silbermann. Have you heard of him? He’s Pinterest’s 30-year-old CEO. The email he sent to me and to millions of other Pinterest users was announcing a new feature on Pinterest: Secret Boards. Turns out they gave all of us on Pinterest the use of three Secret Boards, just in case we want to collect gifts, plan surprise parties, or gather other bits of information and inspiration we don’t want to share with the outside world.

Said Ben…

“Over the last year, there have been so many ways, big and small, that the Pinterest community has made my life better. I’m happy to say that I’m not alone. We’ve heard from teachers who use Pinterest to plan lessons, chefs who share recipes, and museums that pin their archives. We’ve also heard from millions of people who’ve been inspired to pick up an old hobby or try something new. It’s honestly more than we ever expected when we started Pinterest. We’re humbled to be part of such a positive, warm and creative community.”

Soon after that email, Pinterest made news again with the announcement of “New Tools for Businesses in the Pinterest Community.”

You can create a business account, or convert your existing Pinterest profile to a business-specific account, which is subject to its own set of terms and conditions.

There’s a short verification process that links your website with your business’s Pinterest profile, and features designed to help businesses succeed on the ultra-popular social platform are coming down the pike. For now, though, they’ve got case studies, best practices, and guides to help you navigate, optimize, and make the platform work for your goals and interests.

According to a feature about Ben and Pinterest in October 2012′s Fast Company, Ben had virtually sequestered his team of 35 employees for several months this summer to block out the noise of outside opinions and focus on app development. Looks like they also used this time to consider the next phase of expansion, revenue generation, and integration into the broader business scene, too.

Pinterest was THE standout darling of the social realm for 2012:

  • In January 2012, Pinterest hit 10 million unique monthly views faster than any standalone site in U.S. history.
  • The site drew 26.7 million unique visitors in October 2012, up from 3.3. million in the year-ago period, according to research firm comScore.
  • It’s the #3 social network (only trailing Facebook and Twitter).
  • Pinterest drives more referral traffic than YouTube, Google+, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, and Twitter – COMBINED.
  • Pinterest skews female – 68-80%, depending on the source.

And, perhaps most importantly…

“The very best boards are inspiring” – Pinterest

So the numbers and stats about Pinterest’s persuasive power are pretty impressive, but that’s only part of the story. Pinterest also happens to be revolutionizing how we view and consume information online. Their designers and programmers turned traditional web design and usability on its head by embracing the infinite scroll feature, and by emphasizing the organization and curation of content based on INTEREST and DISCOVERY over limited, algorithm-based search results, much of which is advertiser-riddled. Pinterest’s approach is more intuitive than mathematical; more human than binary.

“The average person reads between 200 to 300 words per minute, but visually it takes only 1/20th of a second to process an image. Mashable’s eye tracking study shows that Pinterest is also changing viewing habits from left to right, to top down the center, improving users’ ability to scan information quickly.”

- From’s 5 Reasons Pinterest is a Must for Business Marketers (6/4/12)

What does that mean? The very way we use the Internet is changing. Again. And this time the clunky, tech-heavy thrust of functionality is evolving into something that can partner and collaborate with the magic and possibility of the human mind. 

Like I mentioned in a Pinterest blog post a year ago:



You arrive with exactly who you are, what you believe, what you know, and what you could become. Pinterest invites you to play with the flashes of quantum serendipity that appear before you, according to your whims, clicks, and scrolls.

What are YOUR dreams? What do YOU dig? What catches your fancy, tickles your insides, and makes you see your work, life, and possibilities more expansively, creatively, and beautifully?

Collect these wonders onto Pinterest Boards. Let them find new people to touch, connect with, or inspire. Those things that delight you instinctively don’t always need an explanation. They just need a place to live, and add to other ideas, creative collections, and visual nourishment.

In 2013, that place is Pinterest.


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