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8/9/2012
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Pinterest: Invitation No Longer Required

Breakout social media site opens to all, as Apple reportedly sets its sights on rival Fancy.

5 Facebook Rivals Hot On Its Heels
5 Facebook Rivals Hot On Its Heels
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Have you been dying to pin the places you have been this summer? Your favorite albums? The colors you've been thinking of painting your living room? If you haven't already been invited to join Pinterest, you're in luck: In blog post Wednesday, Pinterest announced that it is now open to everyone.

"Today we're thrilled to announce open registration!" said the post. "For those of you who haven't joined Pinterest yet, this means you can sign up without waiting for an invite: all you have to do is go to Pinterest.com to get started. In addition to using your Facebook or Twitter login, we're also opening registration so you can sign up with just your email address."

Pinterest is a kind of visual bulletin--or inspiration--board. Users create boards with categories like "Books I Love," "Beautiful Places," or "Products That Save Me Time." Users can then link images from websites (using a Pinterest browser bookmark) or upload images from their computers and "pin" the images to the boards. As with Twitter, users can follow other users, and Pinterest images can be repinned and shared.

So, why should you take an interest in Pinterest?

According to Experian Marketing Services, Pinterest had 26 million visits for the week ended Aug. 4. In June, ComScore released a report that said Pinterest was the fastest-growing social network as of the first quarter of this year, and that its users rival only that of LinkedIn in terms of buying power.

[ Are you ready to support your business' social media initiatives? See 5 Social Skills IT Pros Must Have. ]

Indeed, Pinterest users--who skew female and young--are actively posting images, often of things they like or have and that others can--and do--buy. Want more evidence that Pinterest is worth watching?

A study by Burson-Marsteller showed that 25% of Fortune Global 100 companies already have corporate Pinterest accounts, and, not for nothing, Apple is said to be in negotiations to buy Fancy, a site that is similar to Pinterest but also allows users to purchase items.

Are you taking an interest in Pinterest? We welcome your comments below.

You can follow Deb Donston-Miller on Pinterest to see which birds have come to her family's feeder and what toys she loved as a kid, among other things. You can follow her on Twitter at @debdonston.

Every company needs a social networking policy, but don't stifle creativity and productivity with too much formality. Also in the debut, all-digital Social Media For Grownups issue of The BrainYard: The proper tools help in setting social networking policy for your company and ensure that you'll be able to follow through. (Free with registration.)

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