Pinboard (website)

For the object, see Bulletin board.
Type of site
Social bookmarking
Owner Maciej Cegłowski
Created by Maciej Cegłowski
Alexa rank 17,715 (May 2015)[1]
Commercial Yes
Launched July 2009
Current status Active

Pinboard (also called is a social bookmarking website developed and run by Maciej Cegłowski. It has a plain design and a focus on personal management of bookmarks using tags to organize them, similar to early versions of the Delicious social bookmarking service.[2]


When Pinboard launched in July 2009, it charged an approximately $3 signup fee for new users.[3] This fee automatically increased by a fraction of a cent for each new user, a system intended to slow the growth of the site, to make enough money to sustain development, and to discourage spammers from joining.[4] A few months later Cegłowski released an option to save ("archive") copies of bookmarked web pages with a $25 yearly subscription fee, and Pinboard became his full-time job with 1,200 users.[5]

New users joined Pinboard at a gradual pace until December 2010, when information leaked from Yahoo! indicated an uncertain future for Delicious, which it had owned since 2005.[6] Many people reacted by joining Pinboard; it grew to 16,000 users by the end of the month, with a signup fee incrementally increased to $9.[6]

By October 2011, Pinboard had 25,000 registered users (including 18,000 active users) and continued to be a one-person company.[7] Additional users joined Pinboard in September 2011 after Delicious was acquired by AVOS Systems and relaunched with less of a focus on personal bookmarking features.[8] Following these changes at Delicious, many members of fan fiction and fandom communities switched from using Delicious to Pinboard, especially after Cegłowski solicited feature suggestions from the fan community and received a detailed and organized collective response.[9]

In January 2015, Pinboard switched to charging an $11 annual fee for new accounts instead of an automatically-increasing one-time signup fee.[10]


Cegłowski said that he created Pinboard "partly out of frustration with a redesign of Delicious that I felt removed a lot of utility from the site,"[11] and the site includes Delicious-style bookmarking features with a personal list of tagged bookmarks and ways to edit and organize those bookmarks.[12] Users can install a bookmarklet button in their web browser to add a Pinboard bookmark while visiting a website, and they can import bookmarks from Delicious and other services.[13] Pinboard can automatically bookmark links from a user's Instapaper, Pocket, and Twitter accounts.[12] Pinboard also includes ways to view and subscribe to the public bookmarks of other users.[13] Pinboard supports exporting bookmarks in a standard HTML format (understandable by browsers and other bookmarking services), in XML, and in JSON.[14]

Pinboard is supported by users paying for accounts; the site does not have ads.[15]


Cegłowski speaking at XOXO Festival in September 2013.

Cegłowski writes a Pinboard blog on topics including new features, site growth, the benefits of paying for services in general,[8] technical aspects of running Pinboard, and critical commentary about social websites like Facebook.[16] Cegłowski has discussed prioritizing speed and stability over using cutting-edge technologies for building Pinboard.[11]

In December 2012, Cegłowski announced a project called the Pinboard Investment Co-Prosperity Cloud, offering $37 and promotion for six startup companies, to encourage bootstrapping technology companies with low costs.[17][18] He awarded winners in January 2013.[19]

He has spoken at conferences about his experience running Pinboard, including listening to users from the fandom community[20] and "failing really, really slowly" (working on a project for a long time instead of looking for immediate success).[21] He also gave a talk about the negative effects of advertising being the economic foundation of the web, as a model that encourages the growth of surveillance.[22]


  1. " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved May 28, 2015.
  2. Michael Arrington (July 6, 2009). "Back To Basics: Ditch Delicious, Use Pinboard". TechCrunch. Retrieved December 30, 2011.
  3. Michael Arrington (July 12, 2009). "Want To Give Pinboard A Try? You'll Have To Pay $2.84". TechCrunch. Retrieved December 30, 2011.
  4. Rafe Needleman (August 14, 2009). "Get it while it's cheap: Pinboard's revenue model". Rafe's Radar. CNET News. Retrieved December 30, 2011.
  5. Jason Kincaid (January 12, 2010). "Pinboard's Dead-Simple Bookmarking Service Is Still Going Strong". TechCrunch. Retrieved December 30, 2011.
  6. 1 2 Erick Schonfeld (December 29, 2010). "What The "Great Delicious Exodus" Looked Like For Pin-Sized Competitor Pinboard". TechCrunch. Retrieved December 30, 2011.
  7. Kristina Dell (October 24, 2011). "Entrepreneurs Who Go It Alone — By Choice". Entrepreneurial Insights. Time. Retrieved December 30, 2011.
  8. 1 2 Charles Arthur (December 16, 2011). "Goodbye Delicious, hello Pinboard: why we'll pay for internet plumbing". Technology Blog. The Guardian. Retrieved December 30, 2011.
  9. Clive Thompson (September 12, 2013). Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better. New York, USA: Penguin. ISBN 9781101638712. Retrieved February 4, 2014.
  10. Maciej Cegłowski (December 14, 2014). "New Pricing Policy". Retrieved January 7, 2015.
  11. 1 2 Klint Finley (February 10, 2011). "Hacker Chat: Pinboard Creator Maciej Ceglowski Talks About Why Boring Architecture is Good, and More". ReadWriteHack. ReadWriteWeb. Retrieved December 30, 2011.
  12. 1 2 Kevin Purdy (December 17, 2010). "The Best Alternatives to Delicious". Lifehacker. Retrieved January 11, 2012.
  13. 1 2 G.F. (April 4, 2011). "Price of fame: Stick a pin in it". Babbage. The Economist. Retrieved December 30, 2011.
  14. Steven Ovadia (September 30, 2013). The Librarian's Guide to Academic Research in the Cloud. Oxford, UK: Chandos Publishing. ISBN 9781780633817. Retrieved May 15, 2014.
  15. Clive Thompson (August 30, 2011). "Clive Thompson on the Problem With Online Ads". Wired. Retrieved December 30, 2011.
  16. Audrey Watters (November 10, 2011). "Strata Week: The social graph that isn't". O'Reilly Radar. O'Reilly Media. Retrieved December 30, 2011.
  17. Seth Fiegerman (December 18, 2012). "Why Entrepreneurs Are Competing for $37 From This Startup Incubator". Business. Mashable. Retrieved December 30, 2012.
  18. Ryan Tate (December 14, 2012). "Meet the World's Cheapest Venture Capitalist". Business. Wired. Retrieved December 30, 2012.
  19. Ryan Tate (January 21, 2013). "How to Spend a $37 Venture-Capital Infusion". Business. Wired. Retrieved March 14, 2013.
  20. Matt Sheret (September 10, 2013). "Notes from dConstruct 2013". Government Digital Service. Retrieved December 17, 2013.
  21. Ryan Tate (November 19, 2013). "Why the Most Ambitious of Tech Startups Should Fail Slowly". The Next Big Thing You Missed. Wired. Retrieved December 17, 2013.
  22. Ethan Zuckerman (August 14, 2014). "The Internet's Original Sin". The Atlantic. Retrieved November 13, 2014.

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