Blog

Pinning interest in museums

By: Dr Lynda Kelly, Category: Museullaneous, Date: 04 Apr 2013

The interest in Pinterest is not waning. What can Pinterest do for museums? What can museums do with Pinterest?

Blaschka glass model of Stomphia churchiae

Stuart Humphreys © Australian Museum

During 2012 Pinterest rapidly expanded, becoming‘… the third most-used social media platform in the United States. It ranks in after Facebook and Twitter, and before LinkedIn…’ (Wasserman, 2012). Pinterest is ‘… a pin board-style social photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies and more. Users can browse other pin boards for inspiration, ’re-pin’ images to their own collections, and ‘like’ photos.’ (Agent 99, 2012). One of the biggest advantage of Pinterest is that it directly links to users’ Facebook and Twitter accounts, becoming instantly accessible to an individual’s already established networks without having to form new ones.

There are many opportunities for museums in using Pinterest:

  • To share collections in new ways – for example grouping collection objects under different themes
  • To show behind-the-scenes activities and people
  • To show off collections as objects of beauty
  • To inspire pinners to re-use/re-pin images in their own categories
  • As an education tool
  • As an audience research tool – seeing what is popular, for example using Boards to seek comments about exhibition plans / ideas / imagery / branding

In our 2012 research into audience use of social media by attendees at Jurassic Lounge (classically a younger and more tech-savvy demographic), we found that 45% of respondents had heard of Pinterest; 14% had viewed images on Pinterest; 6% had added images to their own account and 12% used/seen Pinterest in last month. While this result may be explained by this particular demographic, a survey of our Members conducted in May 2012 found that 28% of respondents had heard of Pinterest and 11% had viewed images on the site.

So, to celebrate all things Pinterest and the beauty of our own collections we have now launched our own Pinterest site. We’d love you to follow us, re-pin, re-use and suggest ideas for making our Pinterest site more exciting and relevant to you.

Happy pinning!

Useful resources for Pinterest:

Pinterest and education:

Pinterest and museums: