Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social networking websites on the Internet. The usage statistics are impressive; the average Pinterest user spends almost 16 minutes on the site each time they visit, compared to an average of just over 12 minutes per Facebook visit by a Facebook user. Pinterest also provides a valuable demographic from a business or marketing perspective; approximately 70% of Pinterest users are female, and half of the Pinterest user base has children.
Social networks have become the de facto portals of the modern era, replacing such sites as Yahoo and AOL. Many users turn to them for website and product recommendations, as well as trending topics. Musicians and entertainers are utilizing social networks as promotional tools, as are businesses and enterprising individuals, while others use them to remain in contact with friends and family and meet new people. Their influence over the Web continues to grow, and some find it threatening.
Online social networking is a relatively new concept, but a version of it has been around since the beginning of the commercial Web. Social networks themselves are also somewhat new, having only been around in their current form since 2003 or so, but earlier models served in their stead in days past. Bulletin board systems like America Online served as the social networks of their time, providing a home base where users could contact other users, as well as user profiles.