Pinterest is a virtual bulletin board for finding and sharing ideas for food, home, style, inspiration, and more. The firm calls users, “Pinners,” for the ability to log in and “pin” favorite aspirational images and collections of images to personalized “boards” that may be organized by category—including parties, gift ideas, and hairstyles, for example. Pinterest’s algorithm serves up suggested ideas and businesses based on past choices, and to these, Pinners add their own comments and experiences.
The firm was founded in 2010 in a Palo Alto, Calif., apartment by three co-founders who wanted to enable people to collect interests they felt passionate about online. The firm’s name combines the words “pin” and “interest.” Soon users of the fledgling website began to search for answers to questions like, “what should I cook?” and “what should I wear?” Today about 85 percent of the site’s nearly 500 million users report they go to Pinterest when they are beginning a new project, making this the No. 1 reason people use Pinterest. The firm is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices around the world. The most popular category among Pinners, more than half of whom live outside the United States, is Food & Drink, followed by home décor.