If you’re a male, chances are pretty good that you’ve heard of Pinterest, the social network where you “pin” items to a virtual wall, but there’s a chance you haven’t used it much yet — but your girlfriend or wife definitely has. That’s because Pinterest is the hottest social network going right now, particularly among women — some estimates put the percentage of female users close to 70%.
As a man myself, I do see the value of Pinterest, and even though I don’t use it as much as my female friends, it’s still a place I go to check out what’s new and cool. Up until Wednesday, there was only a Pinterest client for the iPhone, and it’s pretty neat. But now there’s an iPad version of Pinterest. How does it match up? Let’s find out.
A Guide to Pinterest
If you’re not familiar with Pinterest (and really, you’ve probably at least heard of it), here’s the way it works. Ever see a cool picture on the Internet and think, “Man, I’d love to save that shot.” Now, instead of just posting that to your Tumblr or personal blog, you can “pin” the image to your Pinterest page. Then, at your leisure, you can scroll through and check out other people’s pins, and repin them to your own page. It can get quite addictive.
As a man, I use Pinterest to post or find all sorts of things that interest me. Tattoos, geeky stuff, cool offices, custom cars and trucks — stuff like that. But for women, well imagine using Pinterest to find items you like to plan an event. Or a wedding. Or a baby shower. Any of my female friends who are on Pinterest have boards packed with holiday ideas, cool recipes or fashion items. Really, there’s a whole wealth you can do with Pinterest.
Now About That App
So how does all this work into the iPad experience? Well, you start by signing in, using either your Facebook or Twitter account just like you would on the web. Once you’re in, you’re greeted with your Following feed, which shows all of the people you’re following and what they’ve been pinning recently.
Navigation here is interesting. By tapping the three horizontal lines in the upper left corner, you display options on what you can look at. You can go to your Home page, your personal page, browse, search or just pick a category and flip on through. Once you’ve selected an item, a page slides in from the left over the first page, and now a giant X is in the upper right corner. The more pages you add, the more pages stack up. So if you ever want to get back to home, you can just X out again and again until there’s no more X displayed.
The Act of Pinning
Pinterest is nothing without being able to pin images to your own boards, but how do you do that with the iPad app? Hit those three horizontal bars and select Browse the Web, that’s how. Once you do, you’re greeted with a blank browser. Enter in an address and away you go. Now, there’s no way to bookmark a page that I found, and you can’t pull bookmarks from Safari, either. Basically, you should know where you want to go before you hit the app, otherwise you’ll be manually entering in web addys all day.
Once you’ve found an image you like, just hit the red Pin It button at the top of the screen and you’re presented with a table full of every image on the page. Tap the one you like, select the board where you’re going to send it and then select Pin It. Just like that, your image is pinned. Go ahead and pat yourself on the back for the good job.
Tweaks and Flaws
On the whole, this app seems pretty polished, but there was one problem that I stumbled upon. While I was browsing the web, occasionally I’d find a page that didn’t work with Pinterest once you hit the Pin It button — the app just crashed and returned me to my home screen. At first I thought this might be intentional; maybe the website had blocked Pinterest, as I’ve heard happens on occasion. But thing is, it was my personal website where this happened, and I know I didn’t turn on anything like that. It had to be the app.
Scrolling also seemed a little weird at times. On occasion I’d flip up a window and it wouldn’t quite “rubber band” the way most iOS apps do, there was just a touch of lag. It’s likely from loading up all those images, but it was still awkward.
This one is kind of a no-brainer: if you like Pinterest, and find yourself actively pinning pictures on the web, then the iPad app is definitely for you. Sure, there are a few issues here and there, but it’s the first version of the app so we’re sure they’ll all get worked out one way or another.
As for you Pinterest rookies, it’s probably time you gave the site a shot. Sure, it might feel weird at first, but as a convert myself, I can tell you that it’s definitely a lot of fun.