Pinterest is an American image sharing and social media service designed to enable saving and discovery of information on the World Wide Web using images and, on a smaller scale, animated GIFs and videos, in the form of pinboards. The site was created by Ben Silbermann, Paul Sciarra, and Evan Sharp and had over 400 million monthly active users as of August 2020. It is operated by Pinterest, Inc., based in San Francisco. Development of Pinterest began in December 2009, and the site launched the prototype as a closed beta in March 2010. Nine months after the launch the website had 10,000 users. Silbermann said he personally wrote to the site's first 5,000 users offering his personal phone number and even meeting with some of its users. The launch of an iPhone app in early March 2011, brought in more downloads than expected. This was followed by an iPad app and Pinterest Mobile, a version of the website for non-iPhone users. Silbermann and a few programmers operated the site out of a small apartment until the summer of 2011.