Launched in 2010, Pinterest is based on two ideas: image sharing and social networking. Little publicized compared to other platforms, Pinterest is fast becoming the benchmark for “sociality” in areas like fashion, luxury, cooking or travel. Its strength: a different and almost disruptive promise, where ideas and inspiration prevail over people and bios.
An international audience, female, rather affluent and urban
Pinterest, has around 291 million users active in the world. Its audience has grown by 70% in the past two years. The result of this strong growth: its American roots are no longer as strong as before. 80% of new registrants are now located outside the United States.
Demographically, 79% of the members are women. In terms of socio-professional categories, Pinterest remains a rather elitist platform. In France, 44% of users are CSP +. Finally, more than six in ten users are under the age of 49 and one in two lives in an agglomeration of more than 100,000 inhabitants.
Pinterest, the power of the visual
At heart, Pinterest has become over time a vast catalog of visual and practical ideas. It is the preferred search engine for users interested in fashion or decoration, for example.
If Instagram users are mainly interested in brands and celebrities, those on Pinterest, are primarily looking for ideas, practical advice and inspiration to materialize their projects. On Pinterest, visuals have a specific role: to seduce and inspire.
“The challenge of Pinterest is not, unlike other social media, to share past projects, but to find inspiration for future projects ”Adrien Boyer, Country Manager France of Pinterest.
But despite their organic difference, the two platforms draw their strength from the same alloy: the visual, a material which users are particularly fond of. In the case of Pinterest, this attraction for pinning explains the 175 billion “pins” hanging on the 4 billion tables created to date. In France alone, 3 million pins are added daily.
A major medium in “visual marketing”, Pinterest has become essential for many professionals. To date, 1.5 million companies have an account. Proof of this enthusiasm, 75% of the content is posted by brands, publishers or influencers.
Unlike other social networks, which mainly bet on the amplification of the social signal generated by users (likes, interactions…), Pinterest built its model on a different, quirky and almost disruptive promise: to put forward ideas rather than people. In other words, on Pinterest, sharing ideas and inspiration takes precedence over connecting to other users. The user and his bio are less important than the pins.
Always more features
Since its launch, Pinterest has introduced many features. First, there was the launch of analytical tools, the “Promoted Pins” program and that of the “Rich Pins”, allowing professionals to add information directly to pins in order to increase their organic richness. Then appeared the “Cinematic Pins”, an advertising format that allows videos to come alive when scrolling and to freeze when the scrolling stops. Finally, in 2015, Pinterest deployed its visual search tool to find pins similar to those of a zoomed area, a real window open to online commerce.
Since then, other functionalities, oriented towards User experience and online commerce have emerged:
Pinterest Lens which allows you to photograph products with your camera and discover other pins associated with the image you have taken.
“Shop the look” a feature that identifies the different elements found on a pin. By clicking on an item, the user sees other products available for purchase.
“Instant Ideas” which facilitates the search for ideas and the experience of use , by allowing users to display pins linked to the pin on which they clicked.
All of these features have only one objective: to offer brands functional solutions to enable them to highlight their products and initialize the act of purchase. In short, make Pinterest the ideal drive-to-web and drive-to-store vehicle for brands.
Social commerce in the crosshairs
Pinterest offers a very rich catalog of ideas. 16 billion pins are available in the fashion category, 15 billion in the decoration section and around 4 billion in the travel category. Aware of the depth of its visual portfolio, the relevance of its model and the power of its prescription, Pinterest wants to become an important player in social commerce.
70% of members say they use Pinterest in search of inspiration for go shopping, when 57% say they use it, when they go to the store. Better, 50% of users would have already made a purchase, after having been in contact with a promotional pin. Another feature that pleases and attracts brands: the longevity of content. Thus, according to Kantar Media, Pinterest pins reach half of their engagement potential in three and a half months, while on Facebook, this threshold is reached in just 90 minutes.
As Alain Boyer, Country Manager says France de Pinterest, “the platform is used well upstream of the purchasing process and offers brands a very actionable intentionist audience” .
To achieve its objective (becoming a credible player in social commerce) , Pinterest made several announcements and launched new features during the first half of this year. Ads aimed at brands to allow them to reinforce the promotion of their products and increase the user experience of users.
“Shop a brand”: allows the promotion of the catalog of brands’ products. Thus, when a user consults pins linked to a brand, he will find via a dedicated button more pins associated with this brand.
Upload catalog: thanks to this functionality, brands will have the possibility of downloading their entire catalog in Pinterest. Each pinned product will be associated with a link which will point to the brand’s merchant site.
Shopping Ads: now open to all advertisers, this feature allows brands (after downloading their catalog) to sponsor any pin of their choice.
Personalized recommendations : Pinterest will display more recommendations related to pins saved by the user, especially in the fashion, beauty or home sections. A “Shop” button will accompany the pinners shopping experience.
Shopping Search: product searches can be filtered to only show the pins associated with the products in stock linked to user search.
Still in this dynamic of social commerce, Pinterest has just announced the complete reorganization of its partnership program, as well as its expansion. Previously known as “Marketing Partners”, it has just been renamed to “Pinterest Partners”. This program, open to third-party companies, specializing in activities such as advertising, content marketing, e-commerce, measurement or tracking of conversions, aims to improve the attractiveness of the platform and by extension the experience of use and purchase.
We are far from the time when registration on Pinterest was done by invitation. Positioned at the outset as a simple application intended to display favorites, Pinterest has turned into a real promotional display tool, serving brands, social commerce and monetization.