Pins and Friends and Boards, Oh my! Pinterest! It’s so fun! And the fun really ensues when you follow cool, artistic, inspiring, and crafty people. Your friends may well be those very people you’re looking to follow. But how do you find them?
Turns out they are not hidden in plain sight, but there are several simple ways to find someone on Pinterest. We’ll explore a couple different ways to get a Pinterest account and delve into a few ways to find someone on Pinterest.
People talkin’ and I’m watching
As flashes of their faces go black and white
And fade to yellow in a box in an attic
But I never thought so much
Could change, now I don’t miss anyone
I don’t miss anything
What a shame cause I used to be a sentimental guy.
— “Sentimental Guy,” Ben Folds
There are a lot of options for social web surfing out there, so first a little background on Pinterest: Pinterest is a free, visual, image-driven social media network that allows users to “pin” images they find on the wide world wide web, to look at later or in greater detail. Not unlike a virtual cork board (or online scrapbook), Pinterest then allows users to create “Boards” with themes where they pin the things that have a common thread or place of origin.
So, unlike a cork board, you’re dealing with a potentially infinite area to work with, easily sortable into countless categories for your various needs and moods. A place for healthy recipes; a different place for not-so-healthy recipes; one for inspirational quotes; and a whole board just for cute kitten faces for those days where you just want to kill the world.
But what would be the fun in Pinterest if it were just your stuff. I mean, there are probably already some photo managing apps natively installed on your computer, you could just use those. But where Pinterest really shines is in how it makes these collections social. You can share your boards with others, and you can copy things off of other peoples boards. It’s a great way to be exposed to new tastes, and to define your own tastes more fully.
But in order to take advantage of that, you’re going to need friends. And you can find friends and follow them and they can follow you. You can also make new friends with similar interests and follow websites like Buzzfeed and Apartment Therapy. Pinterest is pretty much everywhere and once you’re in, it’s pretty addicting. So add it to your list of social media time-sucks.
Here’s how you sign up:
If you’re using a personal computer, go to the Pinterest homepage: pinterest.com. You have the option to sign up with Facebook or with an email address. There are pros and cons to both options.
Sign Up with Facebook
If you have a Facebook, the allure of using that account to sign up for Pinterest is all of your Facebook friends who are also on Pinterest will be easy to find and follow (more on that later). Here’s the thing: you know your Facebook habits. If you are an avid sharer and love what comes your way on Facebook, the Facebook-Pinterest linking of accounts will be a beautiful marriage made in social media heaven. If you choose to go this route, be sure you have not blocked Pinterest in your Facebook account, as that will preclude you from signing up with your Facebook. Pinterest can be unblocked in your Facebook account from the “Block Apps” section under your profile’s privacy settings.
Then again, that is one more way for Facebook to know your every move and eventually take over the world (it’s gonna happen, it’s just a matter of when).
Also, some people like to keep their social media profiles separate, and tailored to their separate spheres. You may use Twitter only for professional networking, Facebook for your friends from school, and MySpace for your friends from that doomsday cult you joined back in the 90s. (I’m assuming that’s who’s on MySpace these days…) Anyway, it’s all about personal preference.
Sign Up with Email
Let’s say you want to sign up with an email address, not Facebook. First of all, you may want to consider Pinterest’s own advice on the matter of your browser choice: Pinterest suggests using web browsers Firefox or Chrome, but odds are that’s what you’re using anyway. Safari is a serviceable browser, but largely kind of meh, and Internet Explorer for the last few years of its life might as well have been named “Use This to Download Firefox.”
Anywho, click on “Sign up with Email.” Provide your first and last name, email address, password, country and gender and click “Sign Up.” It’s pretty straight forward; it’s pretty much exactly the same info that every site asks for when you create an account.
Now you have a Pinterest and you can get in on the fun.
Using the App
If you do not want to use a PC and would prefer to use a tablet or mobile device, Pinterest has a great app. Visit your device’s app store (it’s available for iPhone, iPad and Android), and get the official Pinterest app for free. When you download and install the app, it will walk you through the process of signing up, once again giving you the options I outlined above (sign up with Facebook or sign up with email).
How to Find Someone on Pinterest Easily!
Alright, so you have your Pinterest account all set up, and you’re even getting a few great boards going. Now it’s just a matter of making some friends on Pinterest that you can share your boards with and get ideas off of. Finding people on Pinterest is really quite straight forward. And just like with signing up, there are multiple ways to go about finding the people you want to follow on Pinterest.
Find a Pinner by Username
This is probably the most direct method. If you already have the username of a Pinner that you’re interested in following, simply search for that name in the Pinterest search bar. A list of results will come up. You simply click (or tap) on the appropriate one.
Once you’ve found the Pinner you’re looking for, just tap (or click) Follow in order to begin following their boards.
Once you’re actually following someone, their name will appear higher in the search results, so finding their boards is a snap.
Find a Pinner by Email
Let’s say you don’t have a specific Pinner’s handle. Or let’s say you want to add a whole batch of your real life friends and don’t want to spend the better part of the afternoon entering Pinterest usernames in by hand.
In that case, you may want to invite or search by email. Tap the gear icon to bring up the settings menu. In this menu, you’ll have a couple of options. One of them is to “Find friends.” Within that menu, you’ll be have another option to “Invite friends.” That’s the path you want to take if you’re looking for someone and you only have an email. Basically, you’ll go through the process of “inviting” someone, and if Pinterest already has the email on file, it’ll tell you that they have an account and will take you to their page.
Also note that if you’re working from one of the Pinterest mobile apps, you can choose to give the app access to your contacts. Then it will check to see if any of your contacts is on Pinterest, and will give you the option to choose any or all of them to follow.
It’s a lot like when you first signed up for Facebook. And speaking of Facebook…
Find a Pinner by Facebook
These days, all social media paths lead to Facebook. For all of these disparate sites and services that are out there, it saves them a lot of headache for having to build their own verification protocols by just being able to link to your Facebook, and trust that Facebook has done its homework on you. (This is on top of all the other added benefit the site gets by being linked to your Facebook).
In any event, you can find friends on Pinterest by using Facebook. This does require, though, that your Pinterest and Facebook accounts are linked. I covered that a little bit earlier, but if you’d like to see what the official Pinterest support page has to say about that, by all means take a look.
So, once your Facebook and Pinterest accounts are linked, the rest is a breeze. Just follow those steps I gave you above. Only instead of choosing to “invite” someone by email, you’ll just choose the option to look for friends on Facebook. but the end result is the same — all of your Facebook friends with active Pinterest accounts will be there before your eyes (or at least their accounts will be; I don’t think Scotty is going to be beaming them to you), and you can add or not add them to your heart’s content.
So that is the long and the short of how to find and add people on Pinterest. If you have any questions about anything we’ve covered, or if you’d like to add something that we’ve missed, feel free to mention it in the comments.