Pinner. No, not the leafy North-west London town where Elton John was born, but the nickname for users of a certain social media platform that turns 11 this month (everyone celebrates 10 years, it’s so clichéd).

Initially deemed an app just for DIY inspiration, Pinterest has evolved into a primary source of information for millions of users in the UK. Proof of this came during the first lockdown, when Pinterest saw a rise in Monthly Active Users (MAUs) from 12.1m up to 15m, as people spent more time in their homes and realised how tired their homes – and how shocking their DIY skills – actually were.

Created in 2009 by Ben Silbermann, Paul Sciarra and Evan Sharp, Pinterest was originally designed not to be a social media platform, but instead as a “catalogue of ideas” – somewhere that users could get some great ideas and inspiration for home improvements, parties, special occasions or important events before trying these things out for themselves. Since then, it has evolved as a platform to become much more mainstream, but there are still some key differences that separate Pinterest from the rest of the social pack:

  • The intent of the users is very different. People aren’t using Pinterest to upload their holiday snaps of Magaluf, penning political pieces, or just seeing what Beyonce does in her spare time. Instead, people are looking for ideas and solutions, as well as planning for future projects.
  • The sentiment of users is unique. It doesn’t really have the toxic atmosphere you can see on other platforms (I’m looking at you, Twitter). 9 out of 10 Pinners describe Pinterest as ‘a place filled with positivity’, which also means they are happier to engage with content on the platform to a higher degree than we see on other channels. For example, a CTR (click-through rate) on Facebook of 1% would tend to make advertisers happy, whereas anything less that 4% on Pinterest suggests something is terribly wrong.
  • The demographics of Pinterest are quite different to other social platforms. 70% of users are women, as opposed to a more even split across Instagram, TikTok and Facebook. This means that we’re able to adapt messaging to make it more relevant for our larger female audience base.
  • The shelf-life of Promoted Pins is 6 months. This is much longer than a Facebook ad’s standard 20-30 minutes. This is because users aren’t just seeing the content and moving on; they pin it to their boards so they can go back to it later, and generally on multiple occasions. This offers advertisers a great opportunity to keep their brands front and centre of people’s minds for an extended period.

Although Pinterest may not have the same daily visitor numbers as some of your more established social platforms, its longevity is guaranteed as generation after generation look to it for inspiration around specific pivotal life moments – their first house, a special birthday and other key events – whilst other platforms see their user figures decline over time (remember MySpace, anyone?).

Recent figures have shown that 52% of millennials use Pinterest every month, with the UK being the 3rd largest user of the platform in the world, behind the US and Germany. So not only is Pinterest still showing its relevancy amongst its competitors, it’s also starting to have more of a day-to-day impact for many users.

Over the past couple of years Pinterest has strived to evolve its offering in the advertising space, with the introduction of familiar ad formats such as carousels and video (both standard and max-width) that can be served on a user’s Newsfeed as they browse, or also when users are searching for key interests using the search functionality. A recent study showed that 77% of Pinners who use the platform at least once a week discovered a new brand or product on the platform, and on average users spend over 14 minutes of their day scrolling through the newsfeed, updating their board or pinning things they are keen to engage with. This showcases just how important it is to get your brand seen on the platform and to start to build out an audience base, especially with the current climate meaning users are likely to be at home more often than usual. It’s the perfect time to jump in and get involved.

Happy birthday Pinterest. Here’s to another 11 years of going against the grain, being a little bit different and offering a more positive perspective for a growing following of highly engaged users – in these extremely difficult times, it’s very welcome.

If you’d like to incorporate Pinterest into your social media strategy get in touch and we can help you understand how it can work for your brand.

Matt Woodman, Paid Social Media Manager