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In terms of user retention, this is an incredible figure. Especially compared to the competition.

In February 2014, I looked at Google+ and discovered that although it had 1.15bn users, only 35% of those were active monthly. Similarly 36% of Twitter’s registered users are active on a monthly basis.

Facebook fairs a lot better, a recent GWI Social report reveals a global account ownership figure of 83%, of which 49% are active and 56% of users log in more than once a day.

Of course social channels are very reluctant to reveal their true figures for active users, so its up to third party studies to estimate this and just because your regularly using Twitter right now doesn’t mean you won’t still be doing so in four years time. Which is why the headline figure for Pinterest is so encouraging.

In Q4 2013, Pinterest overtook Facebook for UK referral revenue for the first time, and is expected to do the same in the US in 2014.

RJMetrics has explored 50,000 random pinners and their pins to understand how Pinterest is currently doing in terms of engagement, pinners’ aspirations and the future of Pinterest.

How is the conventional wisdom that Pinterest is largely populated by female users holding up as of May 2014?

80% of Pinterest users are female and female users are far more active than male users with 92% of all pins created by women.

In fact male use of Pinterest has been consistently declining since July 2011. 13% of pins in July 2011 were made by men, currently that percentage stands at 6%. Conversely, the total activity of female users has grown from 87% to 94% over the past three years. 

Over the past year, female Pinterest users have made on average 158 pins.

Here are the most popular categories.

Food & Drink’s very comfortable victory isn’t necessarily the most surprising outcome here. Pinterest understood its most popular usage a short time ago when it hugely improved its recipe search features at the beginning of the year.

Repins by domain

Again less than surprisingly, Etsy outstrips the competition by far, despite the fact that Etsy’s on-site Pin it button only accounts for 8% of total pins. The Pinterest bookmarklet is responsible for 67% of all Etsy pins.

Etsy completely fits into the aspirational qualities of Pinterest. A pin signifies a ‘I want that’. In particular the platfgorms share a similar demographic interested in handmade, imaginative craft ideas and products.

Retention

84% of women are still pinning in their fourth year of membership. Men however drop off sharply to 55% in the second year and 50% by the fourth.

What’s even more remarkable is the fact that female users actually become more active as the years pass by.

The average female user posts 42 pins in their first year, but by their fourth year they are up to 152.

With these incredible levels of retention and engagement, plus the fact that Pinterest users in the US also spend more than their Facebook and Twitter counterparts ($140-$180 per order compared to $60-$80) the argument about whether your ecommerce site should be on Pinterest is now redundant.

As RJMetrics points out in its report, with Pinterest’s new guided search feature showing users subcategories for their search terms that they perhaps wouldn’t have discovered before, its possible that Pinterest may even begin to rival Google as the starting place for product search.  

To read more from the RJMetrics study, check out Pinners be pinnin’.

For more on Pinterest from the blog, read How small businesses can make the most of Pinterest and How the top 10 US retailers use Pinterest.

Christopher Ratcliff

Published 12 May, 2014 by Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff is the editor of Methods Unsound. He was the Deputy Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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Comments (1)

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Nick Stamoulis

That kind of retention and engagement seems unbelievable in today's social age? Especially when you think about how little the Pinterest layout has changed in the last 4 years. How many design updates has Facebook undergone in the same time? Clearly Pinterest is doing something right and if your brand can make it work it's worth it!

almost 2 years ago

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