March 2014 marks 3 years since Pinterest, the online image sharing social media platform, was launched. Continuing to enjoy phenomenal success following its launch in March 2010, Pinterest allows users to collect and categorise images and video using visual bookmarks known as Pins, and in turn display and share their board creations with others.
Simple to use and visually appealing, Pinterest provides the ability for users to follow boards and people which interest them and can be used with both Twitter and Facebook. These fundamental features of Pinterest positions the platform as both a powerful tool for businesses, as well as a unique solution on a personal level to share the things we love as well as the inspirational. Whether it’s collecting, event or project planning or even making a wish list of things to buy, the global user base of Pinterest continues to grow – as does the value of the company.
Operating by invitation only initially, Pinterest grew to 10,000 users in the first nine months following its launch, and the number of users increased significantly following the release of the Pinterest app for smartphone devices in March 2011. The website and app combination proved a massive success, with Pinterest making history at the speed it reached its 10 million visitor mark, and ultimately voted the TechCrunch Best New Start-up for 2011. The company founders were able to secure investment funding following its amazing success.
Incredibly by March 2012, when the company was only 2 years old, Pinterest was already hot on the heels of Facebook and Twitter; 3rd in terms of its social network site size. By May, a major investment of $100 million was made from a consortium led by Rakuten, and the resulting company valuation came out at a staggering $1.5billion. Further developments in the coming months included the launch of Pinterest apps for both Android tablets and the iPad in August, and opening up access to the site for all, removing the “by invite only” status. The result gave Pinterest the ever increasing ability to generate and drive greater levels of traffic, boosted in October 2012 with the launch of Pinterest business accounts.
In 2013, Pinterest was bought by both Livestar and Hackermeter, a Coding Challenge Site, with founders of the latter bringing their engineering expertise to Pinterest. By October 2013 the Pinterest valuation was estimated to be $3.8billion, and the website became available in 20 languages, with Korean and Indonesian the latest to be added to the list. Such is the success of Pinterest that it is reportedly now rivalling email as the third most popular content sharing tool – remarkable given the young age of this now global leader.