Pinspire is a pin board application that lets users bookmark content they find interesting. The application displays images along with a caption and related stats. Users can also see comments left by other users for that item. Clicking on an item provides a closer view along with the name of the person who pinned it and which category it was pinned to. A drop down list of categories is available at the top of the page and can help the user find pins related to art, men’s fashion, outdoors, people, fitness, food, design, kids, products, home décor, crafts, hair, photography, history, weddings and humor. A “What’s Hot” link shows the user popular pins while a “Gifts” link displays gifts by age group. Users can also participate in Pinspire challenges to win gift cards and prizes.
Pinspire was created as part of the frenzy that erupted around the more popular site, Pinterest. While the application has an active community, it has also encountered some controversy because of its similarity to Pinterest. Gizmodo posted a chat log article created by Sam Biddle which included an impromptu interview with Pinspire CEO Karl Jo Seilern. The interview included direct questions asking whether Pinspire stole code from Pinterest. While Seilern refuted the claims, Biddle added his own commentary after the interview.
Pinspire is part of the bandwagon that follows behind Pinterest. Pinspire includes a gifts area that provides suggestions for gift giving, however this is a rather loose collection of items that few will find helpful when buying for a loved one. The Pinspire features list mirrors that of Pinterest. There have been only a few changes and no real innovation or improvement on the pin board concept.
The Pinspire design and layout is extremely similar to Pinterest, perhaps suspiciously so. The layout works well, with clean boxes and no clutter to distract the eye. The same layout works for Pinterest, too, so that doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Users can view images, stats and user activity or click to view an item in greater detail. Four links at the top of the page help the user find challenges, gifts, popular items and categories. Pinspire is user friendly, but far from unique.
A new user can join the Pinspire community by clicking the red “Sign Up Now “button found in the yellow header at the top of the Pinspire homepage. The next page invites the user to sign in with a Facebook or Twitter account. Users who prefer to create a new account can provide an email address, first and last name and password in the fields provided below. The user is automatically logged in and can begin adding friends and interests.
Pinspire is available to all visitors for free. No account is needed to browse and users can sign in with a free social networking account or by email. Charging a fee would be a bit much for the amount of features the user receives. Most users would turn to Pinterest if a subscription fee was required anyway. The site relies on user participation, so free accounts are definitely the best option for Pinspire.
Pinspire offers all the same things that Pinterest does, so users who already have a Pinterest account may find few reasons to switch. The application offers a place to save and share content. Users who are interested in a Pinterest alternative can appreciate Pinspire’s similarities to the more popular pin board website. The layout is user friendly and the user is given a wide range of category options to work with.