Hannah is a seventeen year old from New Jersey. She loves to compete with color guard and marching band, and play piano. She hopes to become a writer or a psychologist one day, and to inspire others to follow their dreams.
In the past year, out of practically nowhere, it seems, a new website has captured the attention of both parents and teens. When I first made my Pinterest account, I only knew of ten friends who had accounts as well. However, just a few months later, that number has doubled and tripled. Teens cannot get enough of Pinterest – a website where “pins” of pictures often lead to creative websites and ideas.
Why is Pinterest suddenly so popular among teens? Although it is impossible to pinpoint an exact reason, there are five aspects of Pinterest and its community that certainly contribute to its appeal.
1. Pinterest contains an endless supply of inspiration – and ways to bring that inspiration to fruition.
Many pins on Pinterest are links to do-it-yourself projects or neat ideas. Unlike many other websites, the DIY projects often have clear directions so that teens are not left guessing. For the crafty teen, Pinterest not only offers ideas for creative endeavors, but it provides teens tried-and-true methods to eliminate guesswork.
2. Pinterest does not feel like a judgmental community.
No one wants to be judged – especially on the internet. In this respect, Pinterest seems to provide what Tumblr, Twitter, and even Facebook have not. On most popular social networking sites, teens go to great ends to keep their pages private from people they know and to make a socially appealing blog. Pinterest, however, lacking the means for anonymous hate messages and judgmental messages, has a much more accepting community. Teens can repin whatever appeals to them, without fearing judgment.
3. Pinterest is divided into easy categories.
When scrolling through a Tumblr dashboard, one can feel overwhelmed by pictures that are meaningless to them. Pinterest solves this problem with easy categories. Right from the homepage, it is easy to select a desired category, such as DIY & Crafts, Humor, Women’s Apparel, and more. Pinterest takes the guesswork out of social networking, so teens can see what they like and only that.
4. It is easy to organize pins and repins into categorized boards.
Some teens just love the organized feeling of Pinterest. When you open an account, you start by creating boards – folders to categorize pins into. These boards can have any name to suit any category. One board can hold all of a teen’s favorite makeup and hair ideas and pins, while another can display the same teen’s favorite cars. Boards allow a teen to display all their interests without seeming condescending or disorganized.
5. It is just another novelty website.
Face it, even if Pinterest were not chock full of cool ideas, a safe feeling environment, and easy categories, teens would still be hopping on the band wagon to try it out. Similar to the creation of Google +, teens create an account because a new website always seems like a new start on the internet. Even if the teens do not like it, they will often give it a chance. Luckily, in the case of Pinterest, a dislike for the website does not seem to be a problem.
Pinterest is quickly expanding, and more and more teens will continue to create accounts. Although every teen will have their own motivation for doing so, these are five of the features that have made Pinterest so irresistible.
Photo: Steve Garfield on Flickr