pinterest viewIf it seems as though everyone and their mother is raving about Pinterest these days, it’s probably because they are. Though the latest social media obsession has been around since March 2010, it is only been in recent months that it has become the “it” social media site. According to the metrics media firm ComScore, the site grew from less than half a million users in May 2011, to almost 5 million in November and by December it had become one of the Web’s Top 10 social networks.

What is Pinterest?
According to the site, Pinterest is a virtual pin board that allows you to “organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pin boards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.”

Pinterest features several categories ranging from architecture to cars and motorcycles to photography. However, it is the images of home décor, fashion, food and crafts that have attracted women to Pinterest in droves. In fact, Experian Hitwise estimates that more than 79 percent of the site’s users are women between the ages of 25 to and 44.

How to Use Pinterest
To use Pinterest, you simply add a pin, or image to a board by linking to the image from a Web site or uploading the image from your computer. Once the image in pinned, it can be repined by other users.

Using Pinterest for Family Travel
Since Pinterest is such a great tool for collecting and organizing images from the Web, it can be helpful in planning family travel. For instance, type “travelingmoms” into the search bar and find boards offering tips and inspiration for international and domestic destinations, travel products and Disney.

Joining and Finding Pinners to Follow
In order to use Pinterest, you must be a member of the site. Membership is obtained by invitation, either from someone who is already a member or by requesting an invitation from the site.

Once a member, you begin to follow people, as you do on other social networks. Linking your Pinterest account to Facebook allows you to see which of your friends has already got the pinning bug, and follow them. You can also send invitations to your friends by using the “Invite Friends” button. Don’t limit whom you follow to your friends and family. Many brands, retailers and magazines also have accounts on Pinterest with beautiful images waiting to be repined, liked and commented on.

Word of Warning
Now that you know how easy and fun Pinterest is, get pinning, and be sure to follow Traveling Moms. Please note: Pinterest is highly addictive, so proceed with caution.

Happy pinning!

Monique is a native Californian who has spent the last decade living in Europe and is using it as a launch pad to travel the globe with her family. Visit her website at www.motravels.com and follow her on Pinterest at Mo Travels.