Pinterest seems to be the latest social network to hit the big time, and its design has been heralded as an example of the layout which will grace many future web pages. Some designers cite a J-Query plug-in called Masonry as the source of the layout style which groups images together likes bricks in a wall and has been replicated on many websites. While you could argue the line between inspiration and duplication is barely noticeable in some of these examples, there are a few sites which put their own twist on the photo-heavy format.
1. Get Vega
Get Vega uses a similar design style to Pinterest, but the focus is more on lists instead of boards. Lists of anything. Night clubs in Paris, lasagne ingredients, inspiring houses and the top tablet computers on the market are all examples of the lists on the site. You can create lists that compare prices and details of things like hotels and technology, write reviews and contribute to other lists, which means the site offers a little bit more than just the standard single-photo pin.
2. Little Monsters
None other than the Fame Monster herself is using a very Pinterest-style layout for her recently released fan site. Littlemonsters.com is a platform for sharing Lady Gaga-inspired content, which is ranked according to popularity, but also includes her tour info, message boards and spaces for profile pages for community members. Fans can credit the inspiration of a post and edit photos on the site prior to posting on the invite-only site.
3. We heart it
We heart it is a very pink version of Pinterest, which has actually been around since early 2008. It allows users to “heart” images (instead of pin) and collect them in sets (called “hearts”) related to their interests. It is quite a popular alternative, with over 400 000 fans on Facebook and 10 million images already on the site.
Definitely not pink, Gentlemint is a “mint of manly things” and commonly referred to as Pinterest for men. The beta version of the site was created as a fun, quick side-project by its two co-founders in just 12 hours in late 2011 — and they’ve been overwhelmed by the response ever since. Users save tacks to mints (instead of pins to boards) and search by their interests. The site is still very new, so expect some changes as the community grows.
Thinng is an Australian-based site with the same inspiration and collection-sharing mantra as Pinterest. What are the differences? It has a “Thinng me” bookmarklet instead of a “Pin it” one, and a slightly different presentation of images (you have to hover over an image to see the description and who posted it) and you share “thinngs” (instead of pins) to lists (instead of boards).
The most similar site to Pinterest has to be Pinspire. Developed by Rocket Internet, the site uses the same colour scheme, repin terminology and layout as Pinterest — it even shares part of its name. If I find a noticeable difference, I’ll let you know.