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Globe icon of the infobox
Website logo
social network , photo community, visual search engine
languages over 30
operator Pinterest Inc.
editorial staff Ben Silbermann , Evan Sharp , Paul Sciarra
user approx. 300 million users worldwide (2019)
Registration Yes
On-line March 2010 (currently online)

Pinterest is an online bulletin board for graphics and photographs with an optional social network with a visual search engine.

The name Pinterest is a suitcase word made up of the English words pin 'attach' and interest ' interest '. This means that you can memorize useful ideas that correspond to your own interests on pin boards. This procedure is either public or (since the end of 2012) on secret pin boards.

The company employs around 1,600 people and the website has around 300 million users worldwide (2019).

Pinterest is led by CEO Ben Silbermann and was founded in 2010 by Silbermann, Evan Sharp and Paul Sciarra.


Pinterest office building in San Francisco (2019)

The purpose is to share information about various hobbies, interests and shopping tips. Registered users can create pin boards, and other users can also share (repin) and comment on this image. Pinterest is headquartered in the South of Market neighborhood of San Francisco .

The visual search engine is powered by machine vision and machine learning . It is built on a collection of more than 175 billion archived images curated by people around the world. Users can memorize pictures and videos on their pin boards.

The last major revision of the app took place in April 2016. Although around 80% of users use Pinterest on their mobile devices, only the Apple iOS and Android operating systems are currently supported.

Terms of Use

In March 2012, Pinterest adapted its terms of use alongside Instagram and Tumblr . The reason for this were pro-ana photos and articles that glorify the disease anorexia . In addition to this anchored prohibition of promoting self-injurious behavior, warnings with offers of help are also displayed in the networks.


According to Alexa Internet , Pinterest was the 67th most visited website worldwide in 2017, 23rd in the United States and 58th in Germany. In April 2017, Pinterest had 70 million users in the United States. Most of the users of Pinterest are female. The TIME Magazine chose options to the "50 Best Websites" of 2011. Meanwhile Pinterest caused a similar amount of traffic such as Google or Twitter . The news website AllThingsD published a (non-representative) statistic from the software company Monetate in June 2012 , according to which the data traffic on Pinterest increased by 2535 percent in 2011 (in comparison, the corresponding rate on Facebook was 2.7 percent, albeit based on an absolute seen higher level). In addition, the conversion rate on Pinterest increased from 0.29 to 0.43 percent and on Facebook from 0.49 to 0.61 percent. Pinterest also gained importance in online marketing as well as in public relations and social media marketing at this time. Many German companies included the visual search engine in their marketing strategy and received a significant proportion of their social referral traffic via Pinterest. With 840,000 visitors in March 2012, the platform had already overtaken studiVZ .

The network had around 70 million users worldwide in July 2013 and exceeded 250 million monthly active users in September 2018.



The business model of Pinterest is primarily designed to offer advertising pins, so-called promoted pins . Companies can book these via a self-service ads manager and display them to defined target groups. According to the company, the advantage of these advertising pins is that they can be inserted seamlessly and are not perceived as annoying advertising by the user. Promoted Pins are currently available in the United States, the United Kingdom, and other English speaking markets.

In the past, the type of monetization , which was not made transparent in the provisions of the site , caused discussion . According to media reports, a partner ID was also provided with links in order to receive commissions for subsequent purchases with the “ affiliate marketing links”. However, Pinterest does not generate income from affiliate links, only from advertisements in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and other English-speaking markets.

The introduction of rich pins enables users and companies to provide more additional information about an idea than is possible with a standard pin. You can choose from three different types of Rich Pins: Item, Product, and Recipe Pins.

In 2018 Pinterest introduced numerous new user functions such as Shop the Look , Pincodes and Pinterest Lens . In addition, since February 2018 there have been functions that make it easier to sort and organize pins and pin boards.


The different copyright laws of the United States caused copyright infringement in Europe, which threatened users with warnings .

Whoever shares content on Pinterest is responsible for ensuring that no copyright is violated. Works protected by copyright may only be published and reproduced with the consent of the author. Content on Pinterest is deliberately published, and private individuals must therefore be held liable for it.

Much of the content on Pinterest comes from companies who have an interest in making their content available to a wide audience. However, Pinterest offers the option of having content individually removed that violates copyright law or other guidelines.


Not every link can be pinned without restriction. For example, it is currently not possible to save links from Lycos , Angelfire or Wattpad due to a "possible reference to indecent content" . On other websites, too, it is sometimes only possible to manually add a pin (including manually uploading a reference image ), since no reference image could be parsed or the website in question does not provide any images or images that are too small.

Web links

Commons : Pinterest  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Information via Pinterest , accessed on September 18, 2015.
  2. ^ Evan Sharp, Ben Silbermann & Paul Sciarra
  3. a b Why advertise on Pinterest?
  4. Pinterest and the new aesthetic of social shopping. In: Exciting Commerce . January 6, 2011.
  5. Shopping blogs - forays in front of the camera . In: Spiegel Online . April 4, 2011.
  6. Pinterest's sophisticated new office. In: June 22, 2016, accessed November 25, 2018 .
  7. 175 billion pieces of content on Pinterest. In: September 11, 2018, accessed December 24, 2018 .
  8. Annika Demgen: Pinterest: Android app available now. In: August 15, 2012, accessed August 16, 2012 .
  9. 80 percent of Pinterest's traffic comes from mobile devices. In: March 31, 2015, accessed November 22, 2018 .
  10. Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr: Online services fight against auto-aggressive behavior. In: Retrieved June 20, 2012.
  11. Alexa ranking for In: . Retrieved April 29, 2017.
  12. Growing of Pinterest's active user community. In: April 6, 2017, accessed December 24, 2018 .
  13. Pinterest Social Photo Sharing ( Memento from November 25, 2011 in the Internet Archive )
  14. ^ The 50 Best Websites of 2011. In: Time Magazine . August 16, 2011
  15. Pinterest generates more traffic than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined. In: . February 2, 2012, accessed March 9, 2012.
  16. Lars Budde: Social Traffic: Pinterest gnaws at the Facebook throne. In: June 20, 2012, archived from the original on June 23, 2012 ; Retrieved June 21, 2012 .
  17. German companies on Pinterest ( Memento from February 23, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  18. Pinterest in online communication ( Memento from May 25, 2012 in the Internet Archive )
  19. Pinterest has 70 million users. In: . July 10, 2013 (English).
  20. Pinterest has 250 million monthly active users. In: September 11, 2018, accessed December 24, 2018 .
  21. Pinterest Wants to Show Advertisers. In: The New York Times, July 2, 2017, accessed January 30, 2019 .
  22. Pinterest secretly exchanges user links for affiliate links . In: . March 19, 2012.
  23. New functions for organizing pins. In: February 14, 2018, accessed January 30, 2019 .
  24. Pinterest and Facebook users are threatened with a wave of warnings due to copyright infringement. In: . March 19, 2012.
  25. Pinterest and the legal limits on sharing and linking. In: .
  26. Community Guidelines. In: Accessed January 30, 2018 .