Once an “invite only” site, Pinterest has now opened its registration to everyone, even to people who don’t have Facebook or Twitter accounts. Since making the announcement on August 8, the online pinboard has seen a bump in its overall traffic ranking.
It’s not that the company was trying to be exclusive. Many startups launch early versions of their sites as “invite only” to ensure that the people who try them out are actually going to use them. Invitations often come through friends, the logic being that friends won’t send each other links to sites that they don’t like. With a willing audience, developers can improve the experience before they open the site to the public.
Pinterest initially did well by allowing their customers to connect through Facebook instead of making them fill out a profile for yet another social network. Once the members could post their activity on Pinterest to their Facebook timelines as well, the startup’s daily active Facebook user base grew by 60 percent as other people saw their friends using Pinterest and wanted to join.
Since launching in 2008, Pinterest has become a place where people can come for inspiration on everything from school lunches to home improvement projects. The interface is highly personal and only fleetingly social, with big images scattered across the page like sticky notes on a bulletin board. A handful of categories and a search bar at the top of the page help the users sort through all the pictures.
Pinterest recently updated its categories to include new ones, like “weddings” and “tattoos,” as well as reconfigure the old categories so that the search results would be more relevant.
The company also added a Twitter connection to draw in users from the popular microblogging site, where pictures and news items are often shared.
Pinterest is currently the #41 site in the world and the 16th most popular in the U.S., based on Alexa.com’s three-month traffic rankings. Last month, its traffic ranking dropped to 42, and in the last 7 days, it went down further to 53. Following its open registration announcement, the site’s traffic ranking has gone back up 14 points, where it sits at #47 for August 9.
Pinterest has a disproportionate number of women between the ages of 25 and 34 compared to other sites, according to Alexa.com. The company is likely ready to reach a wider audience.
Pinners can now sign in with Facebook, Twitter, or an email address.
Wrote the Pinterest team in a blog post, “We’re really excited to have the capacity to offer Pinterest to more people and if you’re a Pinner with friends who’ve been waiting on the sidelines, we hope you’ll let them know. Happy pinning to everyone!”
Image by martan via Shutterstock.