Move over Pinterest, there’s a brand new social bookmarking network in town.
The Matboard, launched near the end of February, is a site that pretty much works just like Pinterest — except it’s for creative professionals only.
Aimed at designers, illustrators, photographers, and videographers, Matboard seeks to address the problem of clutter that has driven creatives away from using Pinterest. By focusing on specific types of content, Matboard users can eliminate the frustration of having to sift through pins of recipes, fashion, fitness, and various unrelated products to find what they want.
The terminology is a bit different: users “mat” images to their Matboards instead of pinning them. And the comments on mats aren’t as prominent as they are on Pinterest, which helps add to a cleaner overall feel. But many of the differences end there.
The functionality between the two is nearly the same. Users can follow, like, comment, re-mat, or share on Twitter or Facebook. Once users have added a “Mat” button to their browsers’ Bookmarks Bar, they can click it whenever they come across content on the web that they want to collect to their mats. The source link gets copied, ensuring that original work gets credited.
Currently, the mats are organized by collection. The categories range from print, which includes collateral, posters, ads, packaging, logos, illustration, and more; to digital and web; to different styles of photography.
As the site grows, Matboard will begin to tailor which mats users see based on the styles of work they typically browse.
Besides inspiration, there are a number of other ways users can engage with Matboard:
- Search out local talent. The location filter helps zero in on the work nearby creatives, which could prove useful for employers or collaborators.
- Career advancement. Users can create portfolio boards to showcase their work, and link to their personal websites and LinkedIn pages in their profiles.
- Self-promotion. Individuals who choose to promote their work on the site will likely pay a fee to be featured — early signs point to this being one way for The Matboard to monetize, and one way for artists to get more exposure.
- Organization. Get started brainstorming for a certain project by creating matboards for each phase of the development process.
- Community. Find and follow other like-minded creatives to build a custom network of inspiration.
Can Matboard challenge Pinterest?
The Matboard was launched with just over 1,000 items uploaded by the founders; in the handful of days I’ve been browsing the site I’ve noticed a considerable amount of new content added by new users every day. That being said, it’s difficult to predict this early how it will catch on.
I see the potential for it to be widely adopted among creatives, but the target audience for it simply isn’t as big as Pinterest’s. Someone with only a mild interest in the graphic arts will likely prefer to stick with the variety that Pinterest offers.
But that’s okay. There’s enough room on the web for niche social networks — especially useful ones.
Are you a creative who uses Pinterest for inspiration? If so, would you leave it for The Matboard?