ARLINGTON, Va. (CBSDC) – There is a new social networking website to compete with Facebook and Twitter, but this one is really only trying to pry away their female users.

When you turn on your computer this morning, and you come across a red and white “p” that looks like a copyright symbol, you’ll know it stands for an app called “Pinterest.”  That’s “interest” with a “p.” Haven’t seen it yet? Well, millions of women have helped push it across the 10 million user mark faster than any site in history. In fact, it gained 11 million users to be exact…in just January.

Pinterest is an online scrapbook of sorts, which allows its users to set up personal profiles to which they can post pictures of things that interest them, and solicit for other users to comment with their own knowledge of the subject matter, or simply just “re-pin” it on their own page.

The website that Time Magazine named “one of the 50 Best Websites of 2011” allows its users to craft their page to show them exactly what they want, so WNEW’s Kimberly Suiters decided to sit down with Arlington mom & web guru Ingrid Sanden, who said her passion for Pinterest is well-placed.


WNEW’s Kimberly Suiters discussed Pinterest with a local user…

“Women often decide where to spend the money…what are we making for dinner tonight… what car to drive… what to wear,” says Sanden. Users heavily rely on the opinions of those they follow, often making purchases themselves based off esteemed recommendations. “I have it on my iPhone app, so I can do it while I’m waiting in line at the grocery store.”

However, there is a lack of transparency for which Pinterest is coming under fire. No one knows how the site makes money. With no apparent advertisers displayed anywhere on the site, it leaves Sanden feeling skeptical about every user being real; thinking Pinterest possibly creates fake accounts to suggest certain products.

“I’m sure they probably do place some things in here, and they definitely suggest people for you to follow when you’re brand new, and so how do you know if those people are actually real? Or if they’re there to place ads?”

Pinterest spokespersons declined to comment.

Ingrid Sanden is a little concerned…

But these concerns are just temporary,  because users like Ingrid know they can simply block any user that may arouse suspicion of illegitimacy.

“It lets you organize things yourself; let’s you follow people, not follow, block people. It gives you a lot of control. It’s very non-invasive and I appreciate that.”

If Pinterest is to make money, at some point it will have to find a way to fit in advertisers, but perhaps it will follow the plans of Facebook for now and grow a steady base first. But for now, growth continues to skyrocket and it’s because Pinterest is what the Tech Crunch blog calls “the latest self-expression engine.”

That and women finally have a social networking site which doesn’t force them to look over their shoulders.