Pinterest

Pinterest logo

Pinterest is an American image sharing and social media service designed to enable the saving and discovery of information on the internet using images and, on a smaller scale, animated GIFs and videos in the form of pinboards.

Quick Fact

Summary

  • Ranked #27th worldwide
  • Active users 478 M
  • Type Bookmarking Networks
  • Launched date Dec 2009
  • Employees 2,545
  • Headquarters San Francisco, California, U.S.
  • Parent company None

Founders

person
Ben Silbermann Iowa
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PaulSciarra
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EvanSharp

Networks

  • Brand value In 2020 $12.3 B
  • Revenue in 2020 $1692.66 M
  • Net loss In 2020 $94.22 M

Data Graphs

personvia Statista.com

Pinterest Analytics

Pinterest AnalyticsBen Silberman and Evan Sharp. (via forbes.com)

Pinterest Analytics is much like Google Analytics.

It is a created service that generates comprehensive statistics on a specific website's traffic, commonly used by marketers. Pins, pinners, repins, and repinners are some aspects of user data that Pinterest Analytics provides.

It also collects data that depicts the percentage of change within a specific time, to determine if a product is more popular on a specific day during the week, or slowly becoming unpopular.

This data helps marketing agencies alter their strategies to gain more popularity, often changing the visual content to appeal to the Pinterest community.

The "Most Clicked" tab in Pinterest Analytics demonstrates products that are more likely to sell. Through the access of Pinterest Analytics, companies receive insight into data via API.

Applicability In Science

Pinterest AnalyticsIllustration. (via nbcnews.com)

Data from Pinterest has been used for research in different areas. For example, it is possible to find patterns of activity that attract the attention of the audience and content reposting, including the extent to which users specialize in particular topics and homophily among users.

Another work focused on studying the characteristics, manifestations, and overall effects of user behaviors from various aspects, as well as correlations between neighboring users and the topology of the network structure.

There is also a study, that based on Pinterest proposed a novel pinboard recommendation system for Twitter users.

Applicability In Demographics

Applicability In DemographicsPinterest tops 400 million monthly active users.

(via newsroom.pinterest.com)

Pinterest has largely appealed to women, especially with its early user base.

A 2020 report found that over 60% of the global users are women. Although men have not been a primary audience on Pinterest, it's been found that their usage has increased 48%.

In terms of age distribution, users between the ages of 18-25 have grown twice as fast as those over the age of 25.

However, both users between the ages of 18-25 and users between the ages of 25-40 have been driving the growth of Pinterest.

Culture Of Discrimination

Culture Of DiscriminationFrançoise Brougher. (via pinterest.com)

The virtual scrapbook company Pinterest was paying out a record $20m (£15m) to settle a gender discrimination lawsuit brought by a female executive who had alleged she was fired after “speaking out about the rampant discrimination, hostile work environment, and misogyny”.

Françoise Brougher, the company’s former chief operating officer, had accused it of marginalizing and silencing women and excluding them from decision-making.

Brougher, who was fired in Apr on a video call with Pinterest’s 38-year-old billionaire chief executive, Ben Silbermann, said she agreed to the settlement only on the condition that it was made public, to help other women in the male-dominated tech industry.

The $20m deal – under which Pinterest did not admit to any wrongdoing – is thought to be the largest publicly announced settlement for gender discrimination.

Brougher said discrimination against female executives would only end when they “are more the norm than the exception” in leadership roles.

The French former Google executive said she also discovered she was underpaid compared with her male Pinterest peers when she read the company’s official filings ahead of its flotation on the stock market last year. Brougher said she was “punished” when she brought the discrepancy up with Silbermann

The number of Fortune 500 companies with female chief executives has reached a record high of 37 this year, but that still works out at just 7%.

Two black female former Pinterest employees have also publicly accused the company of racism and gender discrimination. Ifeoma Ozoma and Aerica Shimizu Banks, who were Pinterest public policy and social impact managers, said they endured several instances of racism and discriminatory treatment by Pinterest co-workers, managers, and human resource staff.

Following the allegations, hundreds of Pinterest staff organized a virtual walkout, signing a petition that stated: “I am [upset/angry/shocked/unhappy/whatever you’re feeling] about the racial and gender discrimination that has happened at Pinterest and is leaving work early today. Join me. changeatpinterest.com.”

In a statement, the company said: “Pinterest recognizes the importance of fostering a workplace environment that is diverse, equitable and inclusive and will continue its actions to improve its culture.”

Brougher said she welcomed “the meaningful steps Pinterest has taken to improve its workplace environment and is encouraged that Pinterest is committed to building a culture that allows all employees to feel included and supported”.

She accepted the payout after Pinterest – a website mostly used by women where users share recipes, home decoration, and gardening ideas – conceded that it must do more to “improve its culture”.

Original Idea

original ideaoriginal idea

Many startups seem to think that the only way to succeed is to entice early adopters in the tech industry into using their products. There’s no denying that a viral product launch in Silicon Valley can have a seismic impact on a company’s growth trajectory. However, far too many companies focus on attracting tech-savvy early adopters, often to the detriment of their products, their companies, and ultimately, their users.

Ben Silbermann, Evan Sharp, and Paul Sciarra wanted to do things differently. They wanted to build a product that everybody—not just techies in the Bay Area—could find useful. They wanted to create a product that was new, original, and yet, familiar. They wanted people to understand how their product worked instantly, even if they’d never heard of it before.

That product was Pinterest - a "visual discovery tool" that was originally created for people to share ideas and inspiration for various interests and projects.

The social media site was founded by Ben Silbermann (a former Google employee), Evan Sharp, and Paul Sciarra, and launched in Mar 2010 as a closed beta.

Nine months after the launch, Pinterest had 10,000 users. By the next year, the platform had made Time magazine's list of best websites, and in early Jan, Pinterest started breaking records.

Of course, Pinterest isn't as big as Facebook or Twitter, but the network is also barely years old.

With its active user base, rapid growth, and unique presentation, the site can be a powerful marketing tool if it's used correctly.

Brief History

2010
Mar The site launched the prototype as a closed beta.
2011

The company secured a US$10 million Series A financing led by Jeremy Levine and Sarah Tavel of Bessemer Venture Partners, valued the company at US $200M.

Jan The website had 10,000 users.
Mar Launch of on iPhone app.
Aug Time magazine listed Pinterest in its "50 Best Websites of 2011" article.
Oct The company secured US$27 million in funding from Andreessen Horowitz.
Dec The site became one of the top 10 largest social network services.
2012
Jan ComScore reported the site had 11.7 million unique U.S.
Feb Pinterest won the Best New Startup of 2011 at the TechCrunch Crunchies Awards.

A "nopin" HTML meta tag was released by Pinterest.

Mar Pinterest unveiled updated terms of service that eliminated the policy that gave it the right to sell its users' content.

Pinterest released a statement saying it believed was protected by the DMCA's safe harbor provisions.

Article in Scientific American criticized Pinterest's self-imposed ownership of user content.

Apr Co-founder Paul Sciarra left his position at Pinterest.
May Pinterest won Best Social Media App and People's Voice Award for best functioning visual design at the 2012 Webby Awards.

Japanese electronic commerce company Rakuten announced a $100 million investment in Pinterest, based on a valuation of $1.5 billion.

The site added automatic attribution of authors on images originating from Flickr, Behance, YouTube, and Vimeo.

Aug Pinterest altered its policy so that a request or an invitation was no longer required to join the site.
Sep Pinterest announced the hiring of its new head of engineering.
Oct Pinterest launched business accounts.
2013
Feb Updates a version on iPad and Pinterest Mobile.

Reuters and ComScore stated that Pinterest had 48.7 million users globally.

Mar Pinterest acquired Livestar.
May Pinterest introduced a new tool called "Rich Pins".
Jul The website had 70M users worldwide as the French social media agency Semiocast revealed.
Oct Pinterest began displaying advertisements in the form of "Promoted Pins".

Pinterest secured a $225M round of equity funding that valued the website at $3.8B.

Pinterest acquired Hackermeter.

2014

Pinterest generated its first revenue.

2015

Investors valued Pinterest, Inc. at $11B.

Mar Pinterest acquired the team from Hike Labs.
Jun Unveiled "buyable pins" that allow users to purchase things directly from Pinterest.
Sep Pinterest implemented a feature that allows users to search with images instead of words.
2016
May Pinterest acquired mobile deep linking startup URX.
Jul Internet service providers in India had blocked Pinterest following a Madras High Court order.
Aug Pinterest launched a video player.

Pinterest announced that it would be acquiring the team behind Instapaper.

Oct The company had 150M monthly active users.
2017
Feb Pinterest introduced a "visual search" function.
Mar Pinterest said it had acquired Jelly Industries.

Chinese authorities blocked Pinterest.

Apr Chinese authorities blocked Pinterest.
Jun The company was valued at $12B.

Pinterest raised $150M from a group of existing investors.

2018
Sep Reach 250 million monthly active users.
Oct The buyable pins feature was replaced by "Product Pins".
2019
Feb The Wall Street Journal stated that Pinterest secretly filed for an initial public offering (IPO) of stock.
Mar Pinterest added product catalogs and personalized shopping recommendations with the "more from [brand]" option.
Apr They went public at $19 per share, closing the day at $24.40 per share.
Jun "Who Has Your Back?" report, the Electronic Frontier Foundation gave Pinterest a three (out of six) star rating.
2020

Pinterest reported advertising revenue of $1.7B, an increase of 48% from 2019.

Mar Pinterest introduced the "Today" tab on the home feed which shows trending pins.
Jul Reach 400 million monthly active users.
Aug Pinterest paid $89.5M to cancel a large office space lease in San Francisco's SoMa area.

Hundreds of Pinterest staff participated in a virtual walkout in support of two former colleagues who publicly accused the company of racism and gender discrimination.

Dec Pinterest agreed to pay its former Chief operating officer a record-breaking $20M+ to settle a lawsuit alleging "rampant discrimination, hostile work environment, and misogyny".
2021
Mar Pinterest announced "Pinterest Premiere".
Apr Chief financial officer Todd Morgenfeld announced plans to spend more money on marketing.

Network Features

Browse Your Home Feed

Browse Your Home Feed
																Pinterest has launched a new option. (via digitalinformationworld.com)

Your home feed is where you'll find Pins, people, and businesses we think you'll love, based on your recent activity. We'll also show you Pins from the people and boards you choose to follow.

You can also search for Pins by typing keywords into the search bar. Try typing "birthday party" in the search bar to see ideas for birthday party decor, party food recipes, and birthday gift ideas.

Create Pins

Upload an image from your computer or mobile device to create a Pin. You can also create and save Pins from images you find online. Add a title and a description to each Pin you create and a website link if you have one.

You can edit a Pin’s information at any time and move it to any board.

Save, Try And Share Pins

Save, Try And Share Pins
																Save, try and share Pins. (via help.pinterest.com)

Pins are bookmarks that people use to save content they love on Pinterest. Pins can be images, videos, or products.

If you click through the Pin, you can visit the website to learn how to make it or where to buy it. As you discover Pins you love, click the red “Save” button to save them to your boards.

When you try a Pin, you can show people on Pinterest how it went. Tried the perfect birthday cake recipe? Add a photo of your cake to the Pin, add a comment to tell people how it went, or add helpful tips.

Sometimes you'll find a Pin that you know a friend will love. Click the share icon to send Pins directly to a friend or a group in a message to pass the inspiration around. You can also use messages to chat with your friends. You can see your messages by clicking the speech ellipsis icon on your computer or tapping the bell icon followed by Chats on your mobile device.

Create Boards

The Pins you save live on your boards. Name your boards and arrange them on your profile however you want. Invite other people on Pinterest to collaborate on group boards to find even more ideas.

To organize your Pins within boards, create board sections. Add a "Decorations" or "Party games" section to your birthday party board to keep similar ideas in the same place. Organize your Pins in whatever way that makes sense to you. You can also add dates to your board if you’re using it to plan an event or add notes to create checklists or other reminders.

If you prefer to keep your Pins private or you're throwing a surprise birthday party, you can make your board a secret. Only you and anyone you invite can see your secret boards.

View your profile

Find all the Pins you save, boards you create, and Pins you try in your profile. You can also see who’s following you and the boards and people you follow. Anyone can see your profile, but your secret boards will stay hidden. Only you can see your secret boards when you view your own profile.

Pinterest New Features

Pinterest New Features
																Pinterest new features. (via newsroom.pinterest.com)

Pinterest has made a number of changes and upgrades - no major redesigns or ad implementations that we thought might be coming, but five that are worth noting. To the daily Pinterest user and marketer, a few of these can make a significant change in your life.

Send Pins to your friends

See something during your Pinterest wanderings that a friend or colleague might like? You are in luck.

You can now tap the "send" button to share it with other Pinterest users, Facebook friends, or email contacts

Duplicate Pin notification

This can be a lifesaver if you are managing multiple boards, accounts, and brands and can't seem to remember which cat photo you already pinned to one.

So now, instead of opening another tab and searching through your previous pins, Pinterest will give you a quick, "Whoops! You already pinned that..." or "Pssst! Looks like you already pinned this to..." Two words: time saver.

Analytics

Hoping to see more come from this soon, but for the time being, Pinterest's new analytics are better than nothing. Although they are basic, they allow site owners to track the number of pinners and pins collecting material from their web pages. It also tracks the repinners and repins of those pins.

Total impressions, reach, referral traffic is measured and easily displayed as well. While this can be helpful for webmasters, you will still need to use third-party analytic platforms to identify influential pinners, popular boards, and highly engaged pins.

Mobile notifications, friend mentions & suggested search terms

For those who love to pin from their cell phones, Pinterest upgraded its mobile features to include push notifications so you can track when you get repins or comments - which is helpful if you are managing pages in real-time.

Additionally, you can now also use the suggested search term feature normally found just on the web version and you can now also mention friends from your cell phone. Looks like Pinterest really wants you to use mobile.

Chrome extension

As an avid Chrome browser user, I greatly appreciate these types of chrome-specific buttons - also frees up space on my bookmark bar which is always overcrowded.

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