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How to Use (and Enjoy) Pinterest

Updated on November 3, 2021
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Laura has been writing online since 1996. Her first content was sold to a print zine. She is a solo publisher of her own sites.


Pinterest is popular as a social media site. It's also one of he well known content curation sites. Content curation is about keeping content you find online (including content which you create yourself) and using a service, like Pinterest, to manage and display the content for a specific topic or theme. A long explanation for something which is pretty simple really.

If you take a look at Pinterest you will notice people have several topics in their account. These are the topics which they curate. Think of curation like a museum curator. It's basically the same idea. The curator searches for content and then displays it for other people to see, learn and understand.

Pinterest is mostly women. Ironic considering it's men who claim to be more visual than women.

Pinterest is Visual

One big thing to keep in mind about using Pinterest, as a content curator, is how visual Pinterest is. Nothing on Pinterest can be displayed without an image, graphic or illustration of some kind. It just doesn't work that way. This visual plan doesn't always work for everything you find online. You may be interested in topics which don't work well visually. (There may not be a lot to choose from). Some of the best visual topics on Pinterest are arts and crafts. One topic which does not succeed well on Pinterest is writing. Writing is about text, not so much images.

If you want to start out on Pinterest know the importance of being visual.

Pinterest: Reading the Fine Print on the TOS

Like Facebook, Pinterest claims all rights to use (including sell) any content you add to Pinterest. You can find this in the fine print of the TOS (terms of service) which almost no one actually reads. There are people who won't use Pinterest because of the theft of images and artist copyrights.

Don't let this scare you off. If you are pinning one image along with a link back to the original site your use of that image falls under fair use when it comes to copyright law. If Pinterest sells that image, their use will not fall under fair use. Fair use is about using a few lines of text or an image in order to illustrate a point and/ or lead readers to the original source for more information.

However, you should be aware that your images are not really your own online. Any image can be used by hundreds of other people. If you really want to keep your copyrights to your work, don't post it online.

If you read more about the Pinterest fine print you will see Pinterest claims they will pass any legal fees they incur on to you for any image you pin to their site (if the image owner makes a claim against Pinterest for selling the image to a second party).

I am not a legal expert. If you need more information or advice see what you can find online or ask someone who will know a lot more than I do about the twists and turns of the legalities of copyright, fair use and etc.

© 2012 Laura Brown


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