When Pinterest first started, the website was described by many as being a place where you can do a form of “online scrapbooking”; it was a place where those who enjoyed pin-board style photo sharing could engage family members and friends online.
That was in 2010 and it had about 10,000 members nine months after its launch. For a start-up, that’s pretty impressive, but not necessarily anything to catch a lot of media attention.
Oh, but in just a matter of three short years, Pinterest has grown significantly to the point that statistics reflect that it rivals the social media giant Twitter when it comes to the amount of members that it has. As a matter of fact, reportedly, approximately 15 percent of all adults who use the internet regularly have a Pinterest account. Indeed, Pinterest has come a long way from when the CEO and co-founder of the company, Ben Silbermann offered his personal phone number to the first 5,000 sign-ups and he and his staff were working out of a small apartment.
So, with such a big following, it would make since that they would make a few online renovations. Since January, members have noticed changes that include a fresh new layout; one that is more “subtly user-friendly” than drastically obvious. Yet, the changes are significant nonetheless, especially when it comes to the backend of the site.
For instance, one noticeable change is that when you go to a particular Pinterest page, you will now see a single-pin view along with a section that you can scroll down that has similar items like the initial “pin picture”. And here’s the thing about it: the scroll feature now rolls indefinitely on every page including the homepage. That’s because the user database is now so large that there are enough recommended “pins” for people to view without there being a need for the scroll to stop.
Another change that has recently happened is that Pinterest has acquired Livestar, a mobile recommendation service. The Livestar app was created in order to allow users to receive personalized recommendations from both their friends as well as authoritative sources from around the web. Although Pinterest hasn’t said much about the acquisition, one can certainly see how that could be a forecast of even bigger changes to come within the company.
Indeed, this is a far cry from the days when, according to Silbermann, he sent an invite to 200 people that he knew to join the site and only 100 responded. Now, this former Google employee’s net worth is hovering somewhere around the $100 million mark, there are 20 million people who are members of the site and 30 employees who work on everything from consumer relations to animated infographics to conceptualizing even more ways to bring people to Pinterest on a daily basis.
Who would have ever thought that creating a website where you can simply post pictures to share with those you know would become as popular as it has? Then again, who would have thought so many people would enjoy writing statements under 140 characters on Twitter or updating a status on their Facebook profile page?
Sometimes a little hunch and a small beginning can turn out to be huge.
Just ask Silbermann.