As of July 2020, Pinterest has over 400 million active users. Considered as one of the most positive social media platforms, – amongst many others with a large impact such as Instagram, TikTok, Facebook etc. – Pinterest has extended its audience and has grown tremendously, especially throughout 2020. Gen Y, otherwise known as millennials, “zoomers” or, the successors of Gen Z, cover a substantial audience percentage.
Pinners, as Pinterest users are called, use the platform for a variety of reasons: creativity, inspiration, or, as some users have experienced, profit. How the platform is utilised depends on why, and how, a user takes advantage of Pinterest’s features. For example, “Pins” are similar to “likes” (like Facebook and Instagram) and are shown in your profile. Your followers can also view your pins.
Another feature of Pinterest is that, similarly to other social media platforms, you can post your own pictures. Unlike other platforms however, you can then use these images, or you can pin images uploaded by other users, to create boards. People have the ability to like, comment and simply make content go viral, just like in other social media apps.
The question is, if Pinterest is similar to other social media platforms, then why is there “hype” and talk around it? Why did Pinterest see a tremendous user growth throughout 2020?
One explanation could be that generations Z and Y, as prominent users of social media platforms, look for entertainment whilst also searching for a positive space to share their ideas, thoughts and hobbies. Pinterest is exceptionally attractive because it offers more than just sharing your personal information and showcasing your life to the public.
Pinterest also encompasses monetisation and advertising. Campaigns, blogs, small businesses, and companies can profit by promoting their work online. Especially considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, being able to use platforms like Pinterest allows users to develop an audience and share their products via social media. Through posting a picture of your product and linking to your company’s website, or through sharing other people’s pins and interacting with them, you can grow and make the most out of your Pinterest account. Visually publicizing your content while gaining a source of income is really the best of both worlds.
Besides the prospect of profit, Pinterest’s strong appeal is also heavily reliant on the ability of the user to plan; Pinterest can be described as a visual online life-planner. From personal experience, it is evident that the platform focuses on aesthetics, providing ideas and help with anything you wish to set your mind to. From fashion boards to interior design, cooking, wellness, gift suggestions, you can shape and design your future life whilst also advancing any current routines. The Pinterest algorithm and layout also evolves along with the people. New additions like that of Today’s Tab which includes trending images and boards, as well as Shopping Spotlights which involves current fashion picks, are attractive features of the platform.
The community of Pinners often get involved in raising awareness and acting upon current social issues like body image issues, which is perhaps what makes the platform so appealing. Body image on social media, and similar social issues, is frequently discussed in relation to apps like Instagram. Instagram has repeatedly been accused of promoting false and unrealistic beauty standards. People strongly support the fact that Pinterest, on the contrary, allows them to be creative and get inspired without having to compare themselves to others.
Pinterest’s growth in 2020 and its continuous rise, is explained as a result of its new and constantly renewed content. At the same time, Pinterest also allows users to look forward to the future. Often, social media outlets can create a very negative mindset and a toxic cycle of comparison, leading to anxiety and other mental health issues. Difficult situations, like the COVID-19 pandemic, make people desire to look on the positive side of life and not self-deprecate themselves. This is why Pinterest promotes the perfect balance of amusement, self-improvement and even marketing development, which proves to attract a variety of audiences.
(Featured Image Credit: @charlesdeluvio from Unsplash)