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updated 5/21/2012 8:49:55 AM ET 2012-05-21T12:49:55

Pinterest has won the hearts of around 20 million people who enjoy sharing pretty things online. But the site has some limitations that a promising rival, BO.LT, does not.

For example, on BO.LT, you can easily follow other pinners, as you can with Pinterest. But with BO.LT, you can also unfollow — a feature still not available on Pinterest. BO.LT also allows you to make a private board for your own reference — say, if you don't want everyone to see your wedding plans. On Pinterest, however, private pinboards are not an option.

While there are hundreds of  Pinterest clones  sprouting up across the Internet, most of them are slapped-together sites hoping to appeal to particular segments of the online community, like "manly men" and those looking for "edgier" content (which translates to a lot of naked pictures).

When you "bolt" rather than "pin," you add the entire Web page to BO.LT, rather than just linking to the page as you do with Pinterest or one of its copycat sites.

BO.LT offers features — unavailable from rival sites — that provide new ways to use a social pinboard. Here are four unique ways to use BO.LT:

1) Collect private research material. While everyone else online is sharing whatever catches their attention, you may want to privately collect information you find online, such as news about medical conditions. Each time you add a new bolt (page from the Internet), you can click "hide" to keep it private.

2) Back up Pinterest. The BO.LT team understands that you might want to use both services. When you bolt a Web page and click the option to share to Pinterest,  the photo you've selected is pinned as usual to Pinterest and shows up in your BO.LT feed. However, the link now goes to a permanent BO.LT page, so if  the original Web page disappears, your copy is still safely stored on BO.LT servers.

3) Use BO.LT inside Facebook. That's right, you can use BO.LT inside Facebook,  which could be the first "nested" app inside the giant platform. Go to the BO.LT app page on Facebook to check your BO.LT feed, rebolt items you like and share them just as you would if you were on the BO.LT website. This way, you can keep your Facebook chats going at the same time.

4) Add your mobile photos. If you can email photos from your camera or smartphone, you can bolt them, too. For instance, if you're an Instagram  user, select email from your sharing options and send the picture to photo@bo.lt. The subject line will become the caption on your photo in BO.LT.

© 2012 TechNewsDaily

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