August 10, 2012 - 18:13 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Pinterest, the fast-growing social network that involves users 'pinning' items of interest to online boards, has this week opened up its membership to anyone, Digital Spy said.
In a blog post August 8, Pinterest confirmed that people no longer need to wait for an invite to sign up to the network.
New users can sign up directly using their Facebook or Twitter login, or just register with an email address.
"For those of you who haven't joined Pinterest yet... you can sign up without waiting for an invite: all you have to do is go to Pinterest.com to get started," said the firm.
"In addition to using your Facebook or Twitter login, we're also opening registration so you can sign up with just your email address.
"We're really excited to have the capacity to offer Pinterest to more people and if you're a Pinner with friends who've been waiting on the sidelines, we hope you'll let them know. Happy pinning to everyone!"
Pinterest climbed to 11.7m users in January 2012, according to comScore, after becoming the fastest website in history to break through the 10m unique visitors mark.
According to Experian Hitwise, Pinterest became the third largest social network in the United States in March 2012, surpassing Linkedin and Tagged. Most of Pinterest's users are said to be female.
In May, the company reportedly raised more than $100 million (£63m) from investors as it prepared for global expansion, in a round of funding that valued the social network at up to $1.5 billion, despite only being founded in March 2010.
Japanese commerce giant Rakuten, which bought online retail site Play.com in September 2011 for £25m, led the round with a $50m investment in Pinterest.
Ditching the invite-system will drive forward Pinterest's user base, but the site has so far remained tight-lipped on its revenue generation plans, particularly after a controversy over an affiliate revenue scheme which led to it being withdrawn.
But Rakuten clearly sees the value of Pinterest as an e-commerce vehicle, meaning the site could follow the model of rival The Fancy, which allows people to pin items of interest but also offers direct links to actually buy the products and services.
The Fancy is reportedly a takeover target for iPhone maker Apple.