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When Was Pinterest Created: History, Timeline, & Milestones
March 18th, 2024 by Terri Pinyerd

Pinterest was founded in January 2010 by by Ben Silbermann, Paul Sciarra, and Evan Sharp as an evolution of a previous app, Tote.


The success of Tote in respect to users building collections of items inspired the founders to shift to Pinterest, which expanded on this feature.


In 2011 Pinterest became one of the top 10 largest social media platforms and continued to expand in following years, with incremental adjustments such as the removal of the post "like" feature in 2017.


How Pinterest Works


pinterest homefeed


Pinterest is an image sharing social network that allows users to browse and create collections of images. It is currently available both on desktop and mobile as a social media app. Both the Android and iPhone app versions offer the same selection of features.


Users can browse images (referred to as "pins") on a variety of subjects, organized on each page in a grid layout. Pinterest is widely used for recipes, style inspiration, DIY, home decorating ideas, garden, and other lifestyle topics.


Pins can then be saved to a user's board. Each user can create as multiple boards which are displayed on their profile. Additional pins can be discovered by browsing the Pinterest boards of other users, or through the related pins section.


Impact On Social Media


pinterest social media impact


Pinterest has revolutionized image based social media and is still considered to be the best social media app for image based content sharing, serving as a visual search engine for many users. It is often praised for having the best functioning visual design and revolutionizing the technology industry.


In recent years, major platforms such as Instagram and TikTok have added a "saves" feature that allows users to store and organize content that they wish to refer back to at a later date, much like Pinterest's Boards feature.


Pinterest has also become an influential platform for advertising and in-platform shopping, with its "Product Pins" feature that allows users to purchase directly from the platform.


Controversy & Concerns


pinterest privacy feature update


Pinterest has often come under fire by users due to their proposed safety features for teen users, which have resulted in many existing personal accounts being wrongfully terminated, or having their content wrongfully taken down for content violations.


The platform has also suffered from a significant increase in advertising mixed in with regular content, causing many users to reconsider using it as a visual discovery tool due to their frustration with the lack of original content.


Innovations & Future


In recent years Pinterest has integrated a variety of innovated features such as Product Pins, Rich Pins, and the idea of the virtual storefront. 


While Pinterest is not currently the go-to platform for creators wishing to monetize their content, they announced the launch of their Creator Fund in 2021, which aims to support the digital creator economy - both for personal and business accounts.




The following is a timeline of Pinterest's inception, growth, and key moments:


  • March 2010: Pinterest is founded in San Francisco as a closed beta.


  • December 2011: Rapid growth, reaching 10 million unique visitors.


  • August 2012: Pinterest launches to the public.


  • 2013: Rich Pins introduced.


  • March 2014: Pinterest announces a $200 million funding round, valuing the company at $5 billion.


  • April 2015: Promoted Pins are launched, allowing advertising revenue.


  • June 2015: Buyable Pins are launched.


  • 2016: Pinterest reaches 150 million monthly active users.


  • 2017: The company launches "Lens", a visual search tool that allows users to take a picture of an item to find out where to buy it, search for similar items, or view boards of related items.


  • 2019: Pinterest announced IPO, further cementing its status as a major player in the social media space.


  • 2020: Surge in usage amid the pandemic as people turn to the platform for inspiration on home projects, recipes, and crafts.


  • 2021: Pinterest shifts to enhancing shopping features on the platform to make it easier for users to purchase items they find. PayPal is reportedly interested in acquiring Pinterest but later backs out.


  • 2022-present: Pinterest continues to evolve its platform with a focus on video content, creator tools, and improving the shopping experience to keep up with the changing demands of its users.

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