As these numbers would also make it clear, if you are a business owner or a marketer, getting your Pinterest game right can be tremendously profitable as well. There are a number of aspects in which Pinterest beats its competitors, and its nature makes it ideal for businesses to connect with their customers in meaningful ways.
We begin this statistics roundup with some data on the platform’s user base and growth. The data in this section also provides insight into who has the most pins on Pinterest, followed by a brief section on user demographics. Read on to reach two critical sections to understand how Pinners engage with the platform and how advertisers can derive maximum benefit from it.
For those of you wondering how many active users does Pinterest have, the platform has registered a steady growth in its monthly active users over the last few years, when a number of other social media platforms saw a tapering off. The September 2018 figure of 250 million was a 25% jump over the one in September 2017. And by the end of Q4 2018, the platform had crossed 265 million active users.
In terms of US audience, Pinterest ranks below Facebook, Instagram, Facebook Messenger, and Twitter but above Snapchat, WhatsApp, and Reddit. Internationally, its position is significantly lower because of the popularity of regional social networks like WeChat, QQ, and Sina Weibo.
The majority of Pinterest users are females because it first gained popularity among the mostly female arts and crafts community. Who better to ask than women if they still favor Pinterest? This survey from 2016 placed Pinterest well above other established platforms like YouTube and Twitter. Even though Facebook and Instagram ruled the roost with 81% and 79% women citing their preferences for these platforms, respectively; Pinterest had already emerged as a network that connected brands with users in an efficient and non-intrusive manner.
Is Pinterest still popular? The following numbers should put that question to rest. In 2018, 77.4 million people in the US—or nearly a quarter of the population—will use Pinterest, a 7% increase from 2017. That's an increase of 5 million users—more than the combined gain of Facebook and Twitter over the same period. By 2022, Pinterest is expected to have 87.2 million users in the US.
Each new pin on Pinterest is an idea to be discovered, which can be used by brands to shape users’ buying decisions. Pinterest saw a 75% increase in pins within a year from 2017 to 2018, indicating the high level of engagement its users have with the platform.
The average Pinterest engagement rate is just better than any other social networking platform. If you take into account the relative number of active users, Pinterest ranks at the top when it comes to getting its users to visit shopping sites. The traffic it drives to these sites is not just 33% higher than Facebook but 71% higher than Snapchat and an incredible 200% higher than Twitter. And it’s not just driving users to shopping sites where Pinterest scores; consumers referred by Pinterest are also 10% more likely to make a purchase at an e-commerce site than those referred by Facebook.
Since it’s a private company, data on the ad revenues for Pinterest isn’t always readily available. But since the company is planning an IPO very soon, it has been sharing information more freely in recent times. According to paperwork filed in March 2019, Pinterest earned $750 million in revenue in 2018 ($700 million in ad revenue), which was a remarkable growth of 60% over 2017 and can be attributed to impressive Pinterest traffic stats. It also cut its losses from nearly $200 million in 2016 to under $75 million in 2018, turning profitable for the last quarter. At this rate, the platform could hit the $1 billion revenue mark between 2019 and 2020.
Pinterest scores below other social media platforms in terms of average revenue per user, an important metric for marketers. Its ARPU in the US is expected to rise from $7.15 in 2018 to $11.99 in 2020, which is still a far cry from Facebook’s US ARPU of $27.61. However, unlike Facebook, Pinterest is still in early stages of monetizing its user base. As its user base keeps growing and as it keeps rolling out new tools for advertisers, the platform promises a strong potential for extracting much more value for marketers.
Pinterest number of employees (April 2019) = 2,799; Pinterest MAU = 265 million. Facebook number of employees (December 2018) = 35,587; Facebook MAU = 2.27 billion. This gives Pinterest’s user to employee ratio to be close to 95,000 compared to Facebook’s ratio of around 64,000. With a much lower employee strength and in a much shorter period of being around, Pinterest has garnered an impressive user base. Plus, while Pinterest’s user base is consistently growing, Facebook’s user base growth is plateauing.
In its proposed 2019 IPO, Pinterest is offering up 75 million shares at the price of $15-17 per share for a target raise of $1.1-1.3 billion. This amounts to a midpoint valuation of $10.64 billion. Interestingly, this is a notable downround from its valuation during its most recent fundraise—at $12.3 billion in June 2017. This presents the company an opportunity to grow into their valuation given the substantial rise in Pinterest monthly active users as well as its increased efforts at monetization.
The average useful lifespan of tweets on Twitter is measured in minutes while posts on Facebook have their useful existence for a few hours. In contrast, an average pin on Pinterest can come up in searches months after it was originally posted. This means that interesting content can keep getting discovered by new users far longer than on other platforms. On average, Pinterest’s content lasts 110 days, compared to YouTube's twenty days, Instagram's two days, Snapchat's one day, Facebook’s five hours, and Twitter’s 17 minutes.
One of the most important facts about Pinterest is that it is not just a platform for big global businesses to reach their customers. The company has taken conscious measures to help small businesses with one-on-one support. This includes the launch of Pinterest Propel in 2017, which helps brands get started with Pinterest Ads and offers custom support, from account setup to creative strategies and campaign optimizations.
The platform saw a 45% increase in mobile searches in the 2016-2017 period. The advantage of high mobile usage is that Pinners consult the platform’s content when they are out shopping. By engaging with these users, brands can have a strong influence on their purchase decisions.
For those of you wondering who had the most followers on Pinterest in 2018; Joy Cho, designer, blogger, and founder of Oh Joy!, has maintained her lead on Pinterest for some time now. The other top accounts on Pinterest are Maryann Rizzo (8.9 million followers), Bekka Palmer (8.5 million followers), and Poppytalk (8 million followers).
Certain categories lend themselves better to the visual blogging style of Pinterest and attract more visitors. When it comes to Pinterest popularity, the art and crafts category has long been the leader. Closely following art and art supplies in terms of number of visitors are flowers, food, drinks, and gifts. Other top categories are home, garden & pool/spa; health and beauty; and clothing and apparel.
We have established that Pinterest has traditionally been favored to a greater degree by women but men on Pinterest are the fastest growing demographic. In 2016, 40% of new users were men, but the overall share of male users was still at 25%. It is predicted that by 2022, the male/female split on the platform will be 30/70. Pinterest already prides itself on having 38% of American dads as its users, browsing DIY projects, home décor, etc.
Younger users are traditionally known to be the first to adopt new technologies or websites. According to Pinterest age demographics data from Pew Research, the platform is also most popular among users under the age of 49. 26% of Americans in the 50-64 age group use Pinterest, while about 16% in the 65+ category are active on the platform.
This reflects the recent trend of a growing skew towards non-US users on Pinterest. About half of the existing users on the platform are from outside USA. This means that the platform is ideal for brands looking for truly international exposure. An analysis of the desktop traffic to Pinterest.com in January 2019 shows that while a little over 39% of the visits were from the US, Brazil (7.69%), India (3.81%), Turkey (3.25%), and Poland (2.23%) accounted for a substantial number also. A comparison with Pinterest users by country from 2017 data shows that the international mix has gotten better in the last two years.
Users are more likely to be on Pinterest if they have a college degree and come from households with relatively high incomes. For instance, while 39% of Americans with household income above $75,000 use Pinterest, the number is only about 20% for those from households with income less than $30,000. This roughly translates to the fact that the higher a consumer’s disposable income, the more likely they are to be on Pinterest. Interestingly, based on Pinterest demographics from 2018, the difference across urban, suburban, and rural users is not as significant as it is for some other platforms.
Despite other platforms’ claims of a greater degree of engagement and inspiration for their users, the average across other social media platforms is just 71%. Pinners are less passive and more likely to act upon the ideas they get from Pinterest pins. The platform also claims that 90% of its weekly users take ideas from its pins to make their purchase decisions, making it less of a collection of moodboards and more of a shopping list.
As stated in an earlier point, the strong mobile presence of Pinterest has a direct bearing on how often Pinterest users consult information on the platform even when they are not shopping online. With that in mind, having an account on Pinterest to guide users’ purchase decisions can be a smart move for brick-and-mortar business owners as well.
It’s no secret that many users utilize ideas from social media platforms to plan life moments like home decoration, trips, parties, or even family meals. According to a Pinterest demographics study commissioned by the company to understand the behavior of American women users in the 25-54 age group, as many as 85% of them rely on Pinterest for ideas. For comparison, only 53% use Facebook and 44% use Instagram for this purpose. Pinners also start planning twice as early as people who use other platforms.
According to a study by Pew Research - in an attempt to establish what is the average age of Pinterest users - while the median age of Pinners is 40, the average user on the platform is quite young. These young users are also discovering new product ideas on the platform, which is another sign of Pinterest’s strong user engagement. While Facebook scores the highest at 78%, Pinterest is at par with Instagram, which has four times as many users, and well ahead of Twitter. According to another report, Pinterest has helped 51% of its women users in getting exposed to new brands as well.
Based on Pinterest stats on user intent, while 60% users say that they visit the platform to view photos, 55% also say that they are searching for products, which is 4X the rate of other digital platforms. Pinners, therefore, do not just make an occasional impulse purchase; they are consciously out to discover products on the platform, which can be a major plus for brands looking to connect to such users.
Another noteworthy point is that out of 2 billion Pinterest searches every month, about 1.9 billion of them are unbranded. Pinners have purchase intention, but they are also open-minded. In this discovery mode, they are in an ideal condition to be introduced to new brands and product ideas.
Unlike some other social networks where ads compete with content from friends and family for users’ attention and, thus, can appear intrusive, another one of the interesting facts about Pinterest is that it is one platform where most users look forward to information from brands. If you are a marketer, it must be obvious where a user would be more receptive to listening to what you have to say about your brand.
Pinterest doesn’t just serve those who are actively looking for shopping ideas. Nearly 3 out of 4 users have also found that browsing through the eye-catching content on the platform encourages them to make a purchase even when they didn’t mean to do so originally. This power to influence users’ purchase intent can be a boon for marketers.
In fact, Pinterest users 2018 data shows that Shopify users referred by Pinterest spend an average of $80 compared to Facebook’s referrals of $40. Oracle Data Cloud surveys have also found that Pinners are 39% more likely to be active retail shoppers as compared to those who don’t use Pinterest. This means that the effort required by brands on the platform to get users to shop is minimal—Pinners indulge in shopping more than non-users as it is.
Pinterest is a companion for consumers not just before and during shopping but also after the shopping process is complete. Statistics on Pinterest users demographics show that more than half of the platform’s users return to it for ideas like pairing up different items from their wardrobe or decorating their living room using a combination of craft products.
According to a study spanning five brands, the platform outperformed the overall marketing average by 45% (digital and offline). Thus, Pinterest statistics show that it delivers a more efficient and effective ROI than other types of media. In terms of ROI, this translates to $2 in profit for every $1 spent on advertising. It was also found that each advertiser in the model could increase their Pinterest spend to 5% of their total marketing budget, while maintaining ROI, which means that there is an opportunity for marketers to scale their spend and drive a proportionally larger business outcome.
The platform encourages advertisers to keep content seasonal and aspirational for peak engagement, no matter who uses Pinterest. One of the ways to do this is to feature life moments, which also leads to a 10X lift in awareness, according to an internal analysis from May 2018. Pinterest also noted that landing pages that match the pin (for an aesthetically consistent customer journey) experience an extra 13% sales lift.
A rich pin is a format on Pinterest that allows you to show more information about your pin. For example, a product rich pin would include real-time pricing, availability, and information on where to buy the product. Marketers would do well to focus on rich pins as these have been shown to have increased engagement. Note that this data is from a few years back and, given the much higher Pinterest user base now, the engagement rate is also likely to have gone up significantly.
When compared with Twitter’s re-tweeting rate of just 1.4%, this shows how much easier it is for content to go viral and be seen by more people on Pinterest. This impressive viral ability is driven by Pinterest’s search function and category algorithms. While Twitter relies on trends that are ever-changing, Pinterest has categories that are pretty much grouped based on similarity and tagging.
Research has shown that promoted pins have a substantial impact on user engagement. They do not just help your brand get more visibility but also get higher conversions. 50% of Pinners have made a purchase after seeing a promoted pin.
Two-thirds, to be precise. This is another reflection of how Pinterest is fundamentally different from most other social media platforms. While Facebook or Twitter are more about personal content, Pinterest is geared towards connecting users with brands. Users understand this and are less likely to be put off by content put up by marketers.
If Pinners are spending less time on other media like TV and magazines, it means that your advertising on Pinterest has their undivided attention. Marketers sharing their messages with Pinners can rest assured that these messages are being seen properly and retained better than they would likely to be on other social media platforms.
According to Pinterest stats, Pinners appreciate if a pin from an advertiser suggests a clear call to action and reward such pins with nearly twice the engagement rate compared to regular pins. Another way for advertisers to improve their engagement is to keep track of trending topics. Research shows that pins related to trending topics see a 94% increase in CTR.
Even though Pinterest is primarily a visual medium, you would be losing out on repins and followers if you don’t use text descriptions with your pins. Pinterest user stats show that a brief description—in about 100 to 200 words—of the image or the webpage the image provides useful information to users and helps make your pins more popular.
The custom marketing plans that businesses get through Pinterest Propel has helped them achieve great results in a very short period. Pinterest statistics from 2018 show that this doesn’t just include a much higher number of clicks from users but also as much as 15% decrease in costs per click in just about three months.
This measures poorly against 90% marketers who use Facebook and 59% who use Twitter. Despite the many unique opportunities Pinterest provides for brands, most brand marketers are unable to see its intrinsic value. They are unaware of how the platform differs from other social networks so are unable to use it to their advantage. This means that the platform still packs enough potential to help marketers beat the competition if they become aware of its possibilities.
Based on Pinterest statistics, the platform has steadily grown its user base in the last few years, with male and non-US users among the fastest growing demographics.
There are certain fundamental aspects of the platform that make users more amenable to engage with brands, an area where Pinterest scores above more popular social media networks.
Pinterest also offers a number of tools to help marketers engage with its users, making this platform the go-to channel for large and small businesses alike.