If you haven’t hopped on the Pinterest bandwagon yet, you should get on it, pronto. Founded in March 2010, image-based social networking site Pinterest made waves in the start-up world, garnering over 11 million total weekly views in December 2011 — a 4000% increase over six months.
The site allows users to follow other pinners and re-pin (re-post in Pinterest terminology), “like,” and comment on content that others have posted or pinned. Pinners create boards that fall under categories like Art, DIY & Crafts, Home Decor and Women’s Apparel, modeled after thematic mood boards used by magazines and fashion designers for inspirational and organizational purposes. Users can follow all boards created by a user or select individual boards to follow, filtering out pins that aren’t relevant or don’t interest them.
In recent months, a number of fashion bloggers, brands and magazines have joined Pinterest as a means of interacting with fans, promoting goods and content, and offering a behind-the-scenes glimpse into sources of inspiration. Much like the rise of magazine and brand name Tumblr accounts, Pinterest allows fans to keep track of what trends certain magazines are promoting or what items of clothing a line has declared a “must have” for spring. And you should expect to see a lot more brands on the site in the future; Mashable reported this week that Pinterest is becoming a top referrer for retailers, joining the ranks of Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter for driving traffic. Whether it drives sales is yet to be determined, but you can be certain that someone will figure it out eventually.
It’s easy to see why Pinterest has grown at such breakneck speed after you decorate a board of your own–it’s addictive! Need some inspiration? We’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite pinners. Regardless of whether you’re a first-time pinner or a seasoned user, click through to see who might be the perfect addition to your front page mood board.