WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) -- Lindsey Cloud Mervis is supposed to be studying for her law school finals.
But on days like this, she cannot pull away from an online community that is taking her cooking skills to a new level.
"I'm a disaster in the kitchen, so Pinterest has really helped me," she says.
Lindsey has plenty of company. According to Internet marketer comScore, more than 20 million unique visitors clicked onto Pinterest just this month.
It is one of the fastest growing social media sites since Facebook and Twitter.
"I find myself just staring at it, going through it, oooo, pretty," says Mervis.
Launched in 2009, this social platform allows users to pin images that interest them on virtual boards for others to browse.
It is this simplistic sharing of content that has inspired an entire community of Pinterest pals and parties.
Pinterest's popularity surge has been driven by high income women age 18 to 34 years old. For one group of Montgomery County educators, it is the "go-to" site for resources and ideas they can use in the classroom.
"I feel like my kids are more engaged because they have more options," says teacher Alina Lichaba.
National Retail Federation's Shop.org Executive Director Vicki Cantrell says, "It's changed the face of the marketplace."
Retailers realize this new phenomenon of pinning is giving a facelift to their bottom line.
Cantrell says, "They can react right away, put it in a different place on their website, feature it, maybe not have to mark it down."
All of this sounds really good. But while you're pinning and pasting there's something else every user needs to keep in mind. That image you post could end up costing you big bucks.
"A lot of individuals are posting photographs that are not theirs, that they've not gotten permission form the owners to post. And they are, technically, infringing on the copyrights of that owner of that photograph," says Sherri Blount.
Blount, an intellectual property attorney, says that's why it's important to read the Pinterest terms of service.
The website essentially says it's on you, the user, to get permission to post any photos. And if someone comes after them, they can come after you.
A direct link to the content, with permission, can help you avoid unnecessary headaches and pin you with a heap of legal bills.
Pinterest Terms of Service
One photographer did raise a copyright concern on her blog. She and the Pinterest founder talked about ways to protect the content of others.
Pinterest has updated its terms of service and provides a code for photographers who do not want their content used.