Here’s Why My Mother-In-Law (Like Millions Of Others) Is Obsessed With The Latest Internet Phenomenon, Pinterest

Pinterest cute things

Pinterest is very popular and getting more so by the day.  Users visited the site 11 million times during just one week in December. Its growth trajectory looks a lot like Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr’s. 

Why is this happening? Yesterday, we explained Pinterest’s very effective and sticky user sign-up process.

But more important than all that is the fact that Pinterest’s popularity seems to have started with the “normals” rather than early adopters. 

The first time I heard of Pinterest, it was when my wife signed up on the recommendation of her mother last Spring.

That is remarkable!

My mother-in-law is plenty “with it.” She’s kept a blog and a Facebook account for years and reads her books on a Kindle. But she’s not the kind of person that is typically the first person I hear about using the latest new social media site. She’s not a San Francisco or Brooklyn hipster or a Silicon Valley product manager.

Yesterday, I sent her an email asking about how this happened. Here’s the Q&A:

How did you hear about it?

A friend sent me an invitation – said I would love it. 

Why did you decide to join?

At first I didn’t because I just didn’t see the use in it. But one day I was bored and made a little board of things I like about Gainesville, thinking I might link it to my blog. 

Why did you decide to keep using it after joining?

It’s a handy, “prettier,” alternative to bookmarks for some things. For instance, I was bookmarking websites for ideas for future art projects for the house, and this was a way I could access them visually – perfect for that kind of thing.  And I think there’s something about there being so much on the screen at one time. If I am waiting for a phone call or for an appointment, I can just quick click on Pinterest and “see at a glance” what little animal photos Anna has posted or some DIY projects my friend Julie is interested in. Yes, I think that is it, so much info at a glance. Besides being eye candy. 

You told your daughter about it and encouraged her to join it. How come?

I thought she would like it the same way my friend thought I would. She has a visual sense to her and likes to connect. I was also curious about her opinion of it as a former PR person. 

Do you still like it as much as you used to?

I think as it’s grown it’s gotten a little watered down; there’s so much on there and a lot I am not particularly interested in. But I have “friends” that share my interests and it’s fun to check in and see what they like… Like thumbing through a magazine in a way of articles, ideas, and photos your actual friends or Pinterest Friends (who have similar interests) have edited. Exactly that, like thumbing through a magazine used to be. 

Related: The Secret To Pinterest’s Astounding Success: A Brilliant Sign-Up Process You Should Copy