INFOGRAPHIC: Here's How Pinterest Works

College students are using Pinterest to showcase their favourite content and interests in all sorts of consumer products, movies, TV shows and images. In particular, they are finding new restaurants and clothing shops because their friends and acquaintances talk about these things. Pinterest calls itself a ‘pinboard for the things you love’.

Pinterest began in 2009 with a limited use policy. In 2010 it began to expand beyond invitations to sign-ups. It took off, and boasts 12 million U.S. users. At a minimum, 4 million college-aged students are using Pinterest every day. In addition, Apple has released a Pinterest App, making it even more accessible. Further evidence of its universal acceptance is the fact that it can now be pinned to Twitter and Facebook.

As word of mouth once spread both good and bad reviews of everything from boutique stores, products, and eateries. Now the 18 to 24 demographic is doing it with Pinterest. This is true even more than with Facebook because the purpose of Pinterest is to display all things that interests you. From posting or commenting on pictures, this gives retailers unique and organic exposure. Many pictures actually come from advertisements. Pinterest pin boards have also given bloggers a traffic boost because their blog post of a review or rant gets shared and re-shared through the social network.

With the ongoing exchange of ideas, college students are actually persuading each other about the importance, relevance or usefulness of information. Each posting can potentially multiply to an upward of 12 to 13 million people. This makes Pinterest more like YouTube in scope, and like Facebook in personal approach. Studies show that 80 per cent of the people who talk about a product online are bound to try it. Furthermore, 50 per cent of friends introduced to a product by a friend online will try the product.

In a sense, Pinterest’s users are becoming the advertisers themselves. They use the artwork or pictures to express their personal taste. This exposes it to millions of people as it passes through, unhindered and unedited. Not only does it pass through Pinterest’s users, it gets re-pinned to the Pinterest boards of every person who re-pins it. This becomes a win-win cycle for any restaurant or clothing shop that seeks to appeal to the college demographic. Twelve million people is a big number which seems destined to grow.

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