Pinterest is planning to release redesigned profiles this week, according to CEO and co-founder Ben Silbermann.

“I’m so excited about it,” said Silbermann (pictured, left), who spoke at the South By Southwest conference in Austin, Texas, on Tuesday. “We wanted to make it more beautiful … to make your profile different in kind than the profile you have on Facebook.”

Silbermann emphasized new discoverability features in the redesign, saying he and his team wanted to make it easier for users to stumble upon other like-minded users, and highlight the people their connections are repinning images from.

He also said the team is working on expanding the number of things users can pin, including video. Soon, people will be able to pin from Vimeo, Hulu and Netflix, among others. And, as was revealed earlier this week, an iPad app — as well as a public API — are also in the works.

At the beginning of the interview, Silbermann spoke of his inspiration for Pinterest, saying it was a project he always wanted to build. “I collected insects, I collected stamps,” he recalled. “I was obsessed with this idea that what you collect says something about who you are.”

He also talked about the site’s original design. “We labored over that grid,” he said. “There were literally dozens of that which were fully coded. We felt like, if your collectios didn’t look awesome, if they weren’t beautiful, why would anyone spend the time to build them?”


SEE ALSO: What People Are Pinning on Pinterest


Although Pinterest’s popularity has skyrocked over the past six months, gaining traction was painfully slow during the first year-and-a-half, Silbermann recounted. Nine months after launch, the site still had fewer than 10,000 users. “Someone was asking, ‘Why did you keep going?’ I think the answer was telling everyone that we blew it was so embarrassing,” Silbermann admitted. “Google [wasn't] going to hire me [again], they barely hired me the first time.”

Silbermann wasn’t able to identify a precise turning point for the company, but rather pointed to a number of things that built momentum for the service. “There was never a celebrity that took it from zero to 60,” he explained. Instead, growth was more organic: People would join, become proud of their collections and show it to their friends. Participation at a design conference and “pin it forward,” an online blogger event, also helped raise awareness.

Silbermann also pointed out that the site didn’t take off in the Bay Area, or in New York. Rather, the earliest Pinterest users were from the Midwest and Southeast, areas that are still disproportionately represented.

Interviewer and Hunch founder Chris Dixon asked Silbermann how he was handling the recent flood of Pinterest clones. “Clones have always happened,” he pointed out. “What makes Pinterest special is the people. If you were to pull out all the people and pins, it would be empty.” He said that the company isn’t focused on racing against such imitators, but on ensuring what they create is “really beautiful.”

Meanwhile, monetization is not a priority at the moment, according to Silbermann. For a time, Pinterest was generating revenue via affiliate marketing service Skimlinks, which Silbermann said was implemented to “understand behavior.” The long-term monetization will have “to speak to the heart of the product itself,” which is “helping people discover things,” he said. Affiliate revenue is not the business model, he insisted.

Mashable reporter Sarah Kessler contributed to this story.


A Pinterest Timeline


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Pinterest is launched to a closed beta. Later it will move to the email invite system it currently employs.


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Pinterest made the list of Top 50 Most Interesting Websites of 2011, according to Time magazine.


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Pinterest receives $27 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz, which then valued them at $200 million.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, chieferu


http://socialenterprise.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/a9a95_pinterest%2520com%2520score.jpg

In October, the site surpassed 421 million pageviews, which means that each of its 3 million users spent a lot of time browsing Pinterest. That would be an average of 140 pageviews per user.


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Pinterest is now in the top 10 websites in traffic in the category of social networking, which adds up to 40 times the number of visits it had six months before.


http://socialenterprise.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/a9a95_meghan%2520GMA.jpg

Pinterest has picked up mainstream media coverage as it gains popularity. Mashable’s Community Manager Meghan Peters even appeared on GMA to explain it.


http://socialenterprise.com/wp-content/plugins/rss-poster/cache/6012c_pinterest%2520referral%2520traffic.jpg

Traffic Pinterest sent elsewhere has risen dramatically, making it a top five referrer for several apparel retailers, according to internal data from Monetate.


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Pinterest beat YouTube, Reddit, Google+, LinkedIn and MySpace for percentage of total referral traffic in January, according to a Shareaholic study. Pinterest accounted for 3.6% of referral traffic, while Twitter just barely edged ahead of the newcomer, accounting for 3.61% of referral traffic. In July 2011, Pinterest accounted for just 0.17% of referral traffic.

Image courtesy of Shareaholic.

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Pinterest is launched to a closed beta. Later it will move to the email invite system it currently employs.


Pinterest made the list of Top 50 Most Interesting Websites of 2011, according to Time magazine.


Pinterest receives $27 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz, which then valued them at $200 million.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, chieferu


In October, the site surpassed 421 million pageviews, which means that each of its 3 million users spent a lot of time browsing Pinterest. That would be an average of 140 pageviews per user.


Pinterest is now in the top 10 websites in traffic in the category of social networking, which adds up to 40 times the number of visits it had six months before.


Pinterest has picked up mainstream media coverage as it gains popularity. Mashable’s Community Manager Meghan Peters even appeared on GMA to explain it.


Traffic Pinterest sent elsewhere has risen dramatically, making it a top five referrer for several apparel retailers, according to internal data from Monetate.


Pinterest beat YouTube, Reddit, Google+, LinkedIn and MySpace for percentage of total referral traffic in January, according to a Shareaholic study. Pinterest accounted for 3.6% of referral traffic, while Twitter just barely edged ahead of the newcomer, accounting for 3.61% of referral traffic. In July 2011, Pinterest accounted for just 0.17% of referral traffic.

Image courtesy of Shareaholic.


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