Pinterest, the popular social network for sharing and organizing photos, is easy to join and use.
To start, go to
You have three choices to sign up -- with your Facebook account information, your Twitter account information, or by providing an email address and creating a new Pinterest account.->
However you sign up, you'll want a user name. Your Pinterest username must be unique but you can change it later. You can have three to five characters in your Pinterest username, but no punctuation marks, dashes or other symbols.
Companies that want to use the image-sharing site have the option of signing up for a special, free business account that confers a few advantages, such as the use of buttons and widgets. Pinterest offers a special signup page for business. (Be sure to check out our guide to creating a Pinterest business account first.)
Browsing Pinterest Image Boards
Anyone can browse its image collections, but only people who become members, establish a Pinterest username and register for a free Pinterest account can post and comment on pictures, and start pinning, organizing and sharing images on the virtual pinboard system. So there is strong incentive to join Pinterest.com rather than just lurk.
Even without a membership, of course, you can still browse Pinterest's image boards and explore any Pinterest board by topic. The photography channel, for example, has gorgeous photos. Travel and Outdoors do, too.
Sign up for Pinterest
So go ahead and sign up for Pinterest, creating a user name. If you create a new account rather than using Twitter or Facebook, Pinterest will ask you to confirm your email address.
Next, go to your email inbox and look for the confirmaiton message that Pinterest will have sent you. It should contain a confirmation link that you must click on to go back to Pinterest.com and finish signing up.
Setting Up a Pinterest Username and Account -
Should You Use Facebook or Twitter?
If you don't want to createPinterest login, you must provide Pinterest with your login to either your existing Facebook or Twitter account, including your personal login name and password.
You can simply use one of those as your Pinterest login. One advantage to using your Twitter or Facebook login as your main Pinterest signin is that Pinterest will be able to help you connect with your Facebook or Twitter pals right away. Without that social network connection, you will essentially be starting over in building friends on Pinterest. Another advantage, of course, is it's easier to remember one login than two.
But there will be plenty of time to add Facebook and Twitter later. So it's a good idea to create a NEW Pinterest login and password, especially if you just want to check out Pinterest for a while before connecting with one or more of your other social networks. Pinterest is a very different kind of network, and you may want to connect with entirely different people.
As stated, you can always add your Facebook or Twitter IDs to your Pinterest profile later, by going into account settings and clicking the "on" button next to Twitter or Facebook. It's that simple.
Your Pinterest Username is part of Your Pinterest URL
Whatever Pinterest username you choose will form the unique URL or Web address for your Pinterest page, as in:
In each case, your username forms the last part of your URL. In this example, the user name obviously is sallybgaithersy. Pinterest will let you know if any particular user name you want is already taken.
You can easily change your Pinterest username or email address later by going into your account settings and typing a new one.
For more detailed information about user names and passwords, the Pinterest help section offers a simple FAQ on account signup and editing procedures.
During signup, Pinterest will helpfully suggest you create an image "board" or two where you can "pin" or save images once you get going. It's a good idea to accept the offer and click to create those boards. You can easily edit them later, giving them titles that reflect whatever purpose you may conceive, such as collecting visual ideas for a home decorating project or planned vacation.
Learn More About How Pinterest Works: Basic Guide
For a simple, explanatory guide to how Pinterest works, what it is, how it came about, why and how people use it, read this overview "Pinterest Definition and Guide."
Pinterest is one of many similar image-sharing social networks. Some others also require an invitation to join, but not all of them. To see how its rivals work, visit one of the three linked at the bottom of this page, or read our "Visual Bookmarks List." It identifies the top visual sharing services. All may be worth exploring if you like Pinterest.
Check Out Statistics for Pinterest.comPinterest's remarkable traffic growth suggests a lot of people do indeed like it. Alexa, a Web measurement firm, ranked Pinterest 98 on its list of the 100 most frequented sites in February 2012.
For an update on Pinterst's traffic, take a look at this page that Alexa maintains showing the latest Pinterest.com statistics.