Pinterest History Timeline

By | May 19, 2024

Founding and Early Years (2009-2012)

2009: Pinterest was founded by Ben Silbermann, Paul Sciarra, and Evan Sharp. The idea for Pinterest stemmed from Silbermann’s love for collecting and sharing things. He saw an opportunity to create a platform where people could visually organize and share their interests online. Initially, the project was called “Tote,” which focused on helping users shop from their mobile devices, but it later pivoted to what we now know as Pinterest.

2010: Pinterest launched as a closed beta in March 2010. The platform allowed users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, and hobbies. Each user could “pin” images they found on the web or uploaded from their devices. The user base grew slowly through word-of-mouth, primarily among a community of design enthusiasts and bloggers.

2011: The popularity of Pinterest began to rise significantly. In August 2011, Time magazine listed Pinterest in its “50 Best Websites of 2011.” The platform’s simple and visually appealing interface attracted a wide range of users, from hobbyists to professionals. By the end of 2011, Pinterest had reached 11 million total visits per week.

2012: Pinterest continued to grow rapidly, becoming one of the fastest-growing social networks. In March, it reached 10 million unique monthly users, faster than any other standalone site in history. The company secured $100 million in a funding round led by Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten, valuing Pinterest at $1.5 billion. Pinterest introduced new features, including the “Pin It” button for websites and mobile apps, making it easier for users to pin content from anywhere on the internet.

Expansion and Growth (2013-2018)

2013: Pinterest launched “Rich Pins,” which provided more context about an image, such as product prices, availability, and direct links to purchase. This feature was a significant step towards monetizing the platform. Pinterest also introduced its first official mobile app for Android, expanding its reach to more users.

2014: Pinterest introduced Promoted Pins, its first advertising product, allowing businesses to pay for increased visibility of their pins. This move marked the beginning of Pinterest’s efforts to generate revenue through advertising. The company also launched Guided Search, a tool designed to help users discover new content and ideas based on their interests.

2015: Pinterest continued to expand its advertising capabilities by launching Cinematic Pins, a new type of ad format that allowed brands to create visually engaging, motion-based advertisements. The company also introduced Buyable Pins, enabling users to purchase products directly from the platform. This feature further solidified Pinterest’s role as a discovery and shopping tool.

2016: Pinterest reached 150 million monthly active users, with half of them coming from outside the United States. The platform’s international growth was a testament to its global appeal. Pinterest also introduced the Pinterest Lens, a visual search tool that allowed users to take photos of objects and find related content on the platform.

2017: Pinterest focused on enhancing its visual search capabilities by launching features like Shop the Look, which enabled users to shop for items within an image, and the Lens Your Look, which helped users find outfit ideas based on items they already owned. The company also introduced “Pinterest Trends,” a tool for businesses to see what was trending on the platform.

2018: Pinterest expanded its advertising options with new targeting capabilities, including “Actalike Audiences,” which allowed advertisers to target users similar to their existing customers. The company also introduced new tools for businesses, such as Pinterest Analytics, to help them understand their performance on the platform better.

Recent Developments (2019-Present)

2019: Pinterest went public on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “PINS.” The IPO raised $1.4 billion, valuing the company at $12.7 billion. Pinterest continued to enhance its platform with features like “Shop the Style,” which enabled users to shop for fashion items directly from pins.

2020: The COVID-19 pandemic led to a surge in online activity, and Pinterest saw significant growth in user engagement and revenue. The platform introduced new shopping features, including a “Shop” tab on search results and enhanced product tagging capabilities. Pinterest also launched a creator fund to support underrepresented creators on the platform.

2021: Pinterest reached 478 million monthly active users. The company continued to invest in its shopping and advertising features, including the introduction of Idea Pins (formerly Story Pins) to allow creators to share multi-page stories with images, videos, and text. Pinterest also expanded its partnership with Shopify to enable more merchants to sell on the platform.

2022: Pinterest focused on enhancing the user experience with new tools and features, such as the “Try On” augmented reality (AR) feature for beauty products and an improved visual search tool. The company also continued its efforts to promote diversity and inclusion on the platform by supporting initiatives that uplift marginalized communities.

2023: Pinterest continued to innovate by introducing new features aimed at improving user engagement and shopping experiences. The platform remained a popular destination for users looking for inspiration and ideas, as well as a valuable tool for businesses to reach potential customers.

Founders’ Biographies

Ben Silbermann

Ben Silbermann is one of the co-founders and the current CEO of Pinterest. Born in 1982 in Des Moines, Iowa, Silbermann attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and later transferred to Yale University, where he graduated with a degree in political science. Before founding Pinterest, Silbermann worked at Google in the online advertising group. His passion for collecting and organizing things inspired him to create Pinterest, a platform that allows users to visually share and discover new interests.

Paul Sciarra

According to WHENSOURCING, Paul Sciarra is a co-founder of Pinterest and was instrumental in the early development of the platform. Born in 1981, Sciarra attended Yale University, where he met Silbermann. Before Pinterest, Sciarra worked in venture capital and co-founded Cold Brew Labs with Silbermann. Sciarra served as the CEO of Pinterest in its early stages before stepping down and leaving the company in 2012. He later became a partner at Andreessen Horowitz, a venture capital firm.

Evan Sharp

Evan Sharp is a co-founder of Pinterest and the platform’s chief design and creative officer. Born in 1982, Sharp studied architecture at the University of Chicago and Columbia University. Before Pinterest, he worked as a product designer at Facebook. Sharp’s background in architecture and design significantly influenced Pinterest’s user interface and overall aesthetic. He continues to oversee the design and product direction of Pinterest.

FAQs for Sellers on Pinterest

1. How do I create a business account on Pinterest?

Creating a business account on Pinterest involves the following steps:

  • Go to the Pinterest website and sign up for a business account.
  • Fill in your business information, including your business name, website, and contact details.
  • Verify your website to claim your domain and access analytics.
  • Customize your profile with a business logo and description.

2. What are Rich Pins and how can they benefit my business?

Rich Pins are a type of pin that provides more context about an image by including additional information directly on the pin. There are four types of Rich Pins:

  • Product Pins: Show pricing, availability, and where to buy.
  • Recipe Pins: Include ingredients, cooking times, and serving sizes.
  • Article Pins: Display the headline, author, and story description.
  • App Pins: Show an install button for iOS apps. Rich Pins can benefit your business by driving more traffic to your website and increasing engagement with your pins.

3. How can I promote my products on Pinterest?

Promoting your products on Pinterest can be done through the following methods:

  • Create high-quality, visually appealing pins.
  • Use relevant keywords and hashtags in your pin descriptions.
  • Utilize Pinterest’s advertising options, such as Promoted Pins and Shopping Ads.
  • Collaborate with influencers and creators to reach a broader audience.

4. What is the Pinterest Verified Merchant Program?

The Pinterest Verified Merchant Program is designed to help businesses gain credibility and visibility on the platform. Benefits include:

  • A blue checkmark on your profile indicating you are a verified merchant.
  • Enhanced distribution of your product pins.
  • Access to exclusive shopping tools and insights.
  • Eligibility for the “Shop” tab on your profile, making it easier for users to find your products.

5. How do I use Pinterest Analytics to track my performance?

Pinterest Analytics provides insights into how your pins are performing. Key metrics include:

  • Impressions: The number of times your pins were seen.
  • Saves: The number of times your pins were saved to a board.
  • Clicks: The number of times users clicked on your pins to visit your website.
  • Engagement: Overall interaction with your pins. Use these insights to optimize your content strategy and improve your pin performance.

6. How can I increase engagement with my pins?

To increase engagement with your pins, consider the following tips:

  • Create eye-catching visuals that stand out in the feed.
  • Write compelling descriptions that encourage users to take action.
  • Pin consistently and at optimal times for your audience.
  • Engage with your followers by responding to comments and participating in group boards.

7. What are Idea Pins and how can I use them for my business?

Idea Pins (formerly Story Pins) are multi-page pins that allow you to share more detailed content with images, videos, and text. Use Idea Pins to:

  • Showcase tutorials or how-to guides.
  • Share behind-the-scenes content.
  • Highlight product features and benefits.
  • Engage with your audience through interactive elements like polls and questions.

8. How do I set up a Pinterest Shop?

Setting up a Pinterest Shop involves the following steps:

  • Ensure you have a Pinterest business account and your website is verified.
  • Upload your product catalog using a data feed or integrate with an e-commerce platform like Shopify.
  • Enable the “Shop” tab on your profile to display your products.
  • Optimize your product pins with accurate information and high-quality images.

9. How can I leverage Pinterest Trends for my business?

Pinterest Trends provides insights into popular searches and topics on the platform. Use this tool to:

  • Identify trending keywords and incorporate them into your pin descriptions.
  • Create content that aligns with current trends and interests.
  • Plan your content calendar around seasonal and emerging trends.
  • Stay ahead of the competition by adapting your strategy based on trending topics.

10. What are the best practices for creating effective ads on Pinterest?

To create effective ads on Pinterest, follow these best practices:

  • Use high-quality, vertical images that stand out in the feed.
  • Write clear, concise, and compelling ad copy.
  • Include a strong call-to-action to encourage users to take the next step.
  • Target your ads to reach the right audience based on interests, demographics, and behaviors.
  • Monitor your ad performance and make adjustments as needed to optimize results.

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