How does Pinterest work? Beginner's guide to Pinterest 2024

Over the past few years, you may have heard more about this social network than ever before and have yet to learn how it works. Pinterest, launched in January 2010 by Paul Sciarra, Evan Sharp, and Ben Silbermann, has become the go-to platform to inspire millions of creatives worldwide. Additionally, it's a fantastic tool for work.

Initially, you may feel lost amidst numerous images and folders, not fully grasping how it operates. At Misterio Studio, we advise on brand positioning and digital strategy for your project. However, if you want to delve into the subject beforehand, we present you with the ultimate Pinterest guide for beginners.

How does Pinterest work? What is it exactly?

The name derives from two English words: "pin" + "interest." The social network is a metaphorical corkboard where you pin images of interest using pins. The platform allows you to create and share folders with your favourite pins. For example, you can create a board (like a folder) named "Vintage Book Covers" and add all pins related to that theme.

How do you find the pins you want?

Understanding how Pinterest works initially can be challenging. In the "Home" section (symbolised by a house from the app), you'll see recommended pins based on your tastes and interests, which you set up when creating your profile. Using the app and saving new pins, the social network will suggest new images and videos based on your related searches. If you want to find a specific pin, go to the "Explore" section (symbolised by a magnifying glass in the app) and search for any topic, from nail designs to gift ideas for the mother-in-law.

Why use Pinterest?

On the one hand, you can organise your interests into boards: travel, recipes, inspiration, and more. This is done by clicking on a pin and saving it to the desired board. This action is called repinning. You can also 'like' pins from other users. On the other hand, businesses and brands use it to promote their products for sale.

How do you sign up for this platform?

Anyone can do it with an email or a Facebook account. In the latter case, the platforms integrate (ideal for businesses and brands). During the account creation process, you choose a username, a profile picture, and the language you want to browse this social network. Additionally, as mentioned earlier, Pinterest will show you a series of pins so that you can select those that best fit your tastes and start displaying related content.

Can you add your friends to Pinterest?

Certainly. How does Pinterest work in this regard? Like any social network, you have followers and people you follow. Here, you decide which accounts to follow because you're interested in their content. Moreover, you can also follow 'trends' (similar to a tag, just like following a hashtag on Instagram). Another fantastic aspect of Pinterest is that you can create collaborative boards. You can add your friends to your boards so they can add content and use them.

Are boards public or private?

It's up to you. If you set them as public, any user can access and save the entire board or pins from the board. Only you or the people you choose can view or access your board if they are private.

How is Pinterest organised?

Pins uploaded to Pinterest have a direct link to the website they come from (similar to citing the source). Any user can access the original site by clicking on the image. When you 'repin' (add a pin to a board) a picture or a video, the user who first pinned it receives recognition. How Pinterest works is very useful for content creators, as the repin maintains the same link as the original pin, regardless of the repins it receives.

Where can you use Pinterest?

First and foremost, it's valid for any iOS and Android operating system. You can use it on your tablet, computer, or mobile phone. Additionally, suppose you have a website or a blog. In that case, you have 'widgets' to link your Pinterest content and make it easier for users to save images from your website.

How do you upload an image to Pinterest?

Look for the '+' symbol, which you press to create a pin or board. Here, you can upload an image from your computer—either your own or downloaded from another site. Don't worry; you can reference the source. Upload the desired image with a title and a description that users can see. Both are crucial for users to find your pictures, so try to use keywords directly related to your content. Once done, you can insert the link to the website from which you downloaded the image if it's not yours. The image is saved on a board, whether it's an existing or new one. In the example, my board is called "Italy," which allows me to set dates for the event. You also have the option to add the board as private and make it collaborative.

Once these steps are completed, save and... pinned!

You can continue to upload images to this board or create new ones. Once the pin is uploaded, users can download it or get an embed code for the pin to insert into their websites or blogs. They can also share it through various channels like X, WhatsApp, Facebook, links, email, or with other users. Users can comment on your pin, ask questions, or thank you for inspiring them. Additionally, they can upload their own 'photo-responses' to your pin. For example, in this case, a user can respond with a photo of themselves in the Vittorio gallery in Milan, indicating that they followed our recommendation during the trip to Italy or share our interests.

What about copyright?

This social network allows us to acknowledge the work of the original content creators, as their website is linked to any content where we insert the pin. All information about the authorship appears automatically below each image, and we can access the source directly. Moreover, it shows which users saved the pin and which board was on which. A positive aspect of how Pinterest works is that copyright is well-regulated.

Pinterest tips

This social network is brilliant. When you listen to a pin, it will always recommend "more like this." In the search bar, you will also be offered "ideas for you" and the most searched topics on Pinterest, sorted into categories and subcategories. For example, "Christmas foods" with subcategories like "easy recipes" or "Christmas cookies." In the search bar, using the right arrow, you can customise your search based on whether you want to look for videos, people, or boards.

Can boards be edited?

Yes, you can arrange them alphabetically or according to your preference. When editing them, you have the option to modify the board's cover and its name and add a description and dates.

You can also include collaborators, make the board private, or delete or archive it. If you want to move all the pins from one board to another, select the "merge board" option. Then, choose the folder where you want to move the pins and the current board will be deleted.

What do the other buttons mean?

  • The bell symbolises notifications: interactions with other users, alerts about popular searches, and new topics.
  • The message symbol is a chat with other users, where you can also insert and share pins.
  • You can edit your profile at any time, including the photo, username, description, URL of your website, location, etc. In settings, you can connect social networks like websites, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, or Etsy—useful functions if you have a business or project to enhance.

That concludes our Pinterest guide for beginners. After reading this post, we hope you understand how Pinterest works and can make the most of it. If you're interested in this topic, you'll find more information on our Instagram. Remember that at Misterio Studio, we develop strategies for your brand and can assist you with social media positioning. If you have any questions, write to us. We hope this guide has been helpful!