What parents need to know

Ease of play

It's very easy to search, pin other people's stuff, and post and share your own content. That said, it's also very easy to get sucked in, sidetracked from your initial search, and sometimes potentially come across content you may not want your teen to see because of how easy it is to browse a wide breadth of content in a short period of time.

Violence

Unfiltered user-generated content means that pins with violent content may be observed. Users can report inappropriate content.

Sex

Unfiltered user-generated content means that users may see pins with sexual content (including full nudity). Users can report inappropriate content.

Language

Pins containing mild profanity (with both humorous and serious usage) are common in certain subject categories, such as quotes. 

Consumerism

Some pins are de facto ads for products. Some link to a product's website. There's also an entire category labeled "Products" for people to search, which is intentionally consumer-oriented.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Unfiltered user-generated content means that pins with content about drinking, drugs, or smoking may be observed. Users can report inappropriate content.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Pinterest is like a digital pinboard that people use to share, save, and categorize images and ideas for everything from crafting, tattoos, and photography to cooking, decorating, and collecting stuff. Although most pins people post are pretty clean, there's some not-for-kids stuff that teens may happen across (pins that include nudity in the tattoo category, for example); and they will definitely find iffy stuff if they intentionally search for it. In some instances, Pinterest links to other sites, and some of those may contain content that's inappropriate for teens. Users can create a Pinterest account via a Facebook account or an email address.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • animals

Social Studies

  • geography

Arts

  • painting
  • photography

Hobbies

  • building
  • collecting
  • cooking
  • fashion
  • gardening
  • pets
  • sports

Skills

Creativity

  • innovation
  • making new creations
  • brainstorming
  • combining knowledge

Responsibility & Ethics

  • honoring the community

Tech Skills

  • social media

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Pinterest is highly visually engaging. It's well organized by topics and subtopics, which makes searching for information or just randomly browsing within a particular subject area easy and absorbing. Creating your own boards is empowering and fun.

Learning Approach

Learning is baked in as teens use social media to search for, share, and combine knowledge to gather information and spark new creations. Teens can take some of what they've learned from Pinterest and extend it to at-home or at-school projects, cooking and crafting, fashion ideas, and more.

Support

The help center (found under app settings) includes an overview guide, a browsing section to search for specific help, and a "fix a problem" tab for troubleshooting.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Science

  • animals

Social Studies

  • geography

Arts

  • painting
  • photography

Hobbies

  • building
  • collecting
  • cooking
  • fashion
  • gardening
  • pets
  • sports

Skills

Creativity

  • innovation
  • making new creations
  • brainstorming
  • combining knowledge

Responsibility & Ethics

  • honoring the community

Tech Skills

  • social media

Kids can learn about a wide range of topics -- cooking, crafts, travel, sports, science, and tech, to name a few -- from other users on Pinterest. Kids also can learn about organizing and sharing their finds with others. Although the content on Pinterest is heavy on visuals and perhaps light on depth of information, the images alone can be a source of inspiration and innovation for kids to build upon. Sometimes links to related websites are included with pins so kids can dig deeper into a subject. By combining their knowledge with that of others, kids can use social media to make new creations and curate information on a subject for multiple uses: school reports, crafts, gift ideas. By following Pinterest's guidelines, kids can learn to be respectful and honor the intent of this ideas-sharing community. Pinterest can spark ideas and help kids practice social networking with a purpose. 

This Learning Rating review was written by Dana Villamagna

What's it about?

Browse topics by tapping on a PINTEREST category or entering a keyword in the search field, or use the "guided search" feature to find specific items while also being introduced to related pins in subcategories (with the guided search "healthy food," for example, subcategories include "easy," "for picky eaters," and "breakfast"). Scroll up and down images of pins by swiping down or up. "Pin" your own images from the Internet or from your device's camera; comment on other user's pins; share via Facebook, Twitter, or email; or save to your camera roll.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Pinterest is an ideal app to explore if you're looking for ideas for a homemade gift, new hairstyle, recipes, pithy quotes, and pretty much anything else you'd want to find. This app (and its companion website) can be a real time drain. Start browsing Pinterest, and hours may evaporate in what seems like moments. Pinterest is generally a good example of positive social networking with lots of practical purpose and creativity in the vast majority of pins. Still, this is a user-generated content service, and there is some stuff many parents may find inappropriate, especially for younger teens. Pinterest could be made more safe and appropriate for teens if there were an option to filter pins with nudity, profanity, and violence (which can be reported easily by tapping on the send arrow and the "Report Pin" option). Overall, Pinterest is a robust, information-packed way to find and share ideas visually. 

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Internet safety. Consider sitting with your teen (at least the first few times) as he or she is searching and viewing. Talk about what sorts of images and information are OK to post on Pinterest, as well as the option to use up to three "secret" boards to limit who can view your posts.

  • Show your teens how to use Pinterest's "report" feature to report any inappropriate content they may stumble upon.

  • Is your teen working on a project that requires creativity? Use Pinterest for inspiration.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Mac, Android, Chromebook, Fire phone, Kindle Fire, Nook HD, Apps for Windows, Windows Phone
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:June 27, 2014
Category:Social Networking
Size:41.10 MB
Publisher:Pinterest
Version:3.6.5
Minimum software requirements:iOS 6.0 or later; Android varies with device.

This review of Pinterest was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 13 years old Written byamandafran February 9, 2015
LEARNING

I can get life hacks and studying tips!

Although it is considered social media, I think its okay. I use it to find life hacks, studying tips, DIY's and much more. You need to know what your child would look up but other then that its a great app and has a nice website too. You can also control what comes on your feed
What other families should know
Easy to play/use
Safety and privacy concerns
Teen, 13 years old Written byDauntless January 11, 2015
LEARNING

Very nice!

Pinterest has so many pictures that you will love. As long as you don't search for anything inappropriate, there won't be anything bad.
What other families should know
Easy to play/use
Parent Written byBarbLents November 12, 2014

What a surprise

Oone would think this is just a virtual bulletin board, which could easily be filtered to restrict content, but unfortunately that's not what this company is about. Type something in the search box, and you will see what your kids can see. So disappointed.

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