In the growing world of social networking websites it is difficult to actually discover something new. Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, and Linkedin have all brought unique ideas on the social networking platform, and newer incarnations are going to have to find something substantially new as their foundation if they are going to bring in users. One of the more innovative, and fastest growing, of these has been Pinterest. With Pinterest you can begin tying together collages of themed photos that keep topic and ideas as central on a “bulletin board” format. This is similar to Instagram in that it is photo based and is often less heavy on text content than options like Tumblr, which makes it a fun option for using within the iPhone structure. Here is a look at how to use Pinterest on the iPhone using the free Pinterest app.
Like most social networking apps, you have to download the free Pinterest app from the iTunes App Store and install it before you can begin using. Pinterest, unlike most social networking services, asks you to be invited by someone. You can actually Request an Invite from an existing user so that you can actually join. Someone already on there can endorse you, which is to help foster its photo connectivity. You can do this from within the Pinterest app by going to the Request an Invite button in the lower left hand corner of the opening screen. This will bring up a prompt where you can enter an email address to send an invitation request to. You can also log in with your Facebook or Twitter accounts, and on Facebook it integrates with a Pinterest app.
Once you have set up everything you can log in on your Pinterest Facebook app. It will immediately ask you if you want to be sent Push Notifications, which you should grant if you want it to have the same communication functions as phone calls and iMessages. The interface of Pinterest will be similar to most iPhone social networking apps in that it will have five distinct sections in the lower task bar. The first of which is Following, which will essentially show you a news feed of everyone that you are currently connected with on Pinterest. If you are brand new then this will be empty.
The next tab over will be Explore, and this will allow you to look through different sections based on topic. These could be things like Design, Art, Celebrities, Architecture, Tattoos, Sports, and Quotes. Once in there you will essentially be browsing through different images that people have posted that meet these qualifications and will allow you to see who the people are that posted them.
When you actually look at a person’s page you can choose to Follow them, which is the same as would be in Twitter or Tumblr. This is to say that their photo posts will begin showing up in the Following tab. You have the choice to also Unfollow them by selecting that button their page if you want to remove them from your list.
The middle tab is identical to Instagram in that it opens up a photo prompt that will then allow you to take a picture for posting on Pinterest. The Pinterest network is a little more Internet and meme focused than Instagram, so you may end up taking fewer original pictures and instead will post found ones. You can also choose from your Photos section by hitting the button in the lower right hand corner of the camera display, which looks like two intersecting squares. From here you can browse through your Library and find the image you want to post. When you are done with the camera you will hit the “X” button in the lower left hand corner.
Since Pinterest is all about taking photos from other places and “pinning” them on your own board, as well as liking images, you will notice that the Activity tab is where you view this. This is mainly to see how your images are connecting with your audience and if they are spreading around or going viral. If you have nothing going on then it will simply say No Activity.
Your final tab will be the Profile tab and will be where your image is, the people you are following or are following you are listed, what you have liked, what your pins are, and what your boards are. This is where a Pinterest user can look to see all of the basic activity you have had on there, which gives a general profile of what you like and what your objectives are. Again, if you are new to Pinterest and do not have any pins or boards then it will say this. Your information may be partially added by either Facebook or Twitter if you have actually logged into Pinterest through these, which is a way of centralizing your connections.
If you want to add more friends to your Pinterest account to follow then hit the Find Friend button in the upper right hand corner of your profile. If you are connected through Facebook then you can find friends from this list, which is just your Friends List. If you want to Invite Friends, then you will be given the option to actually send invites to the email addresses of people listed in your Contacts List. This would require have a complete Contact page for the people you wish to invite. This is one of the advantages to connecting to Pinterest with Facebook or Tumblr as it immediately gives you a place to mine for Pinterest connections.
The Pinterest app’s settings are going to be in the regular iPhone Settings area with the rest of the apps, which is below the iPhone’s functional settings. Here you can see what version of the app you are using, as well as the credits for the creation of the app. At the bottom will be an On and Off switch for App Performance Data, which you should leave on. Since the app is a new representation of the website they will need important information to make it better.