Pinterest may not be growing at the rate the company had once anticipated, but the platform is expanding, with new data showing that the app is now closing in on 250 million monthly active users, up from the 200 million it reported back in September.
That growth rate means the platform’s gaining momentum – it took Pinterest 6 months to go from 150m to 175m users, and 5 months to reach their next milestone of 200m users. Adding another 50 million since September means the platform is now gaining 25m new users every four months, on average – so again, a marginally faster growth rate.
For comparison, over the last year, Twitter has added 9 million MAU, while Snapchat has added 25m (though important to note Snap’s are daily active users – they don’t publish MAU stats)
We’ve said this before, but businesses should not overlook Pinterest as a potential source of traffic, especially those within the B2C sector.
The platform has been slowly building out its search and discovery tools, implementing better ways to connect consumers with products. And those efforts are working – Pinterest recently reported that some 90% of weekly Pinners use Pinterest to make purchase decisions.
Sure, comparatively Pinterest’s 200 million monthly active Pinners trails behind the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, but those that do use it come with higher purchase intent, which is a key element to note in your consideration.
And it does seem that more brands are catching on – this week, Pinterest has reported that it’s now reached a new milestone of 1.5 million active advertisers.
To celebrate, the platform has announced some new ad options – first off, Pinterest is expanding access to its quick promote option on Pins.
As explained by Pinterest:
“The “Promote” button on each Pin helps businesses create an ad in as little as 9 seconds. Up until now, this button was only available to advertisers in the US. In the coming weeks, we’re rolling it out to business accounts in Australia, Canada, Ireland, New Zealand and the UK.”
Pinterest has also announced the hiring of Matt Hogle as their Global Head of Small Business. Pinterest says it’s seen a 50% year-over-year increase in small businesses advertisers on the platform, and Hogle’s dedicated role will be to develop new programs designed to maximize opportunities for smaller operators.
The new additions also coincide with the first anniversary of Pinterest’s ‘Propel’ ad assistance program, which provides organizations with one-on-one support to boost their Pin campaigns. Pinterest says that they’ve seen big success with the program, with companies using Propel seeing up to 3x more clicks on their ads, and 15% lower costs per click (you can read a case study on how contact lens company Hubble used Propel to boost their Pin efforts here).
As noted, Pinterest provides a range of opportunities, especially for B2C brands, and their ad options are getting more sophisticated, more targeted, and producing better results. If you’re looking to expand your social marketing program, Pinterest should definitely be on your radar – it takes some time to learn and understand, but the benefits can be significant.
Facebook’s News Feed is a lot of things, but these days, it’s rarely inspirational.
With 2.13 billion monthly users, Facebook has more reach than any other social network, but it’s not the best option for consumers to get ideas and enjoy visually pleasing experiences. In recent years, Pinterest and Instagram have filled that void.
The visual nature of Pinterest and Instagram puts more focus on imagery and style. They’re a welcome alternative to Facebook’s status updates, political rants and personal milestones. The two networks are where consumers turn to find visual inspiration, whether it’s in food, fashion or home design.
Pinterest recently announced that hashtags are now a working feature on the platform. The announcement will enable Pinners to easily discover new content, as well as ensure their content is seen by more, yet relevant users.
The focus of the announcement is clearly rested on users, however, the clear winner here is Pinterest.
Worst case scenario, Pinners don’t utilize the feature similar to what occurred with the rollout of the feature by Facebook.
The difference here is that for Pinners, utilizing hashtags on the platform is not too foreign of a concept, as tagging is the common practice on the network.
With many winning scenarios possible, the announcement updates actually provide some indication of what Pinterest would ideally like to see happen with Pinterest hashtags:
What this really tells us:
Pinterest would like a robust dataset offering per pin, but has likely figured out internally that anything beyond 20 hashtags is territory of the non-relevant. Building out robust search capabilities by utilizing the behaviors of social media users is tricky, and instructing Pinners to be succinct, yet descriptive, is a strong boundary to establish.
Two and a half years after launching its first paid ads, Pinterest is finally ready to compete head-on with Google, Facebook, Snap Inc. and others for big brand dollars.
Specifically, the San Francisco-based player has spent a couple of years building a measurement and data tool, search-like targeting and video ads to make the case for bigger brand budgets. But Pinterest’s ad business has been slower than others to catch on—it reportedly made $300 million in 2016—partly because its 150 million monthly users are small potatoes to behemoths like Google or Facebook.
“I think people have crossed into a threshold where they’re really paying attention and seeing us as a platform where they need to invest in the same way that they have to invest on Google and Facebook—I didn’t feel that a year ago,” said Tim Kendall, Pinterest’s president.
Adweek talked to Kendall about the virtual pin board’s video, measurement and ad plans for 2017 and why more brands are buying into the site’s advertising.
Adweek: You’ve been president of Pinterest for about 10 months and have made a number of acquisitions, hires and new features. What can we expect for 2017?
Tim Kendall: The eye-opening point that you’re going to hear from us all year is, “We’re a mass reach play.” A marketer tends to think, “If I want mass reach with my customer, I go to Facebook with their 1.7 billion users or I go to Instagram because they have 600 million users.” But if you think about the major CPGs and retailers, the audience that drives all the decision-making are women, 25 to 54. If you want to reach those people, we reach 80 percent of what Facebook reaches every month. And we reach more of that segment than Instagram, Snap or Twitter.