Pinterest: 10 reasons why it will be bigger than Twitter

Adrian Johnson

February 8th, 2012

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It’s pretty hard to miss Pinterest at the moment.

Every time I look at my Tweetdeck there’s a Pinterest mention or a Pinterest link (notice how many people are un-shortening Pinterest links they want to share on Twitter, just to show you they’ve a Pinterest account?); every day another tech media article; every week a new Pinterest infographic (see foot of this post).

Pinterest LinkedIn Top 3 storiesJust today, the top the three stories on my ‘LinkedIn Today’ were all Pinterest articles.

So, should we really be interested in Pinterest?  In a word: absolutely.

I’d go as far to say that Pinterest will be bigger – in terms of total users, not necessarily by influence – than Twitter (which now has in excess of 100 million users ).


1. History. Take the growth of Pinterest.  This chart, below, from TechCrunch shows the exponential growth in the last year – and remember, Pinterest Techcrunch Pinterest 10 Million Users Fastest Eversign-up is still by invitation only.

2. Opinion-Free. You don’t need an opinion to Pin.  I know many intelligent people who feel like they don’t have enough thoughts and opinions to join Twitter.  Or don’t know what to say when they do sign up. Or actually ‘get’ Twitter.
3. Easy-peasy. Pinning is, in effect, collecting images (and videos) that we love – that’s very easy to do. And a very easy concept to grasp.
4. Intuitive. Once you get your Pinterest invite (and it will surely be a matter of months before it’s open to everyone) it’s easy to set up and use.
5. Demographics. Look at the demographics of Pinterest users – these are not tech-savvy ‘early adopters’; they are just ordinary people.  There are far more ordinary people in this world than the geekier crowd.
6. Lists. Who doesn’t love a list? Pinterest is just one user’s bunch of curated lists
7. Commerce. I love the fact you can add a price of an item to a pin (type the £ symbol followed by the amount in the description) which is surely a clue to forthcoming commercial opportunities.
8. Referrals. There’s been a few articles already showing how Pinterest is referring more traffic than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined (combined).  I’ve just looked at Pinterest referral traffic for and it’s now the 9th most popular referring site for us.
9. SEO. We all know where search is heading in terms of the influence of social cues.Pinterest visible in Google SERPs There’s no evidence that I’ve seen yet that Pinterest links are showing up in Google SERPs (certainly not in any way significant) but my guess is that this will come.  And it’s not for no reason that there’s this button (shown right, highlighted in green) when you create your Pinterest account.  Clever PR, that.
10. Improvements. And the final reason is that Pinterest is going to get better.  Remember, Pinterest is less than 2 years old; it’s experienced massive growth so it’s done well to retain its stability.  Next stage: improvements…

What does Pinterest need to do to improve?

1. Removing the invite-only sign-up, obvs.
2. The search function is largely hit and miss

3. The mobile experience is terrible.  Take the official Pinterest iPhone app it doesn’t allow you to pin anything from it.  No, really, it doesn’t.  That’s like having a Twitter app that doesn’t allow you to Tweet.  I use Voyager Technology’s Pin to Pinterest app which at 69p works ok, but really Pinterest should be all over this themselves.

4. Private or invite-only boards – boards you can share with just invited members, or ones you could pin stuff just for yourself ie creating an Evernote-like function

5. Being able to invite friends from Twitter, LinkedIn, et al, rather than just Facebook friends

6. Personalisation of a user’s board ie changing the background design/wallpaper

7. Maybe some sort of leaderboard/tables for most re-pins/likes etc

8. The ability to embed a Pinterest board into a website or blog post.  Whilst this is not currently available, apparently it’s on its way.

Umpf is on Pinterest:

A couple of recent infographics about Pinterest, on Pinterest:

Source: via Umpf on Pinterest

Source: via Umpf on Pinterest

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5 Responses

  1. Quora says:

    What is driving the rapid growth in daily and monthly active users of Pinterest?…

    Some additional thoughts:

    1. Pinterest is opinion-free. You don’t need an
    opinion to Pin. I know many intelligent people who feel like they don’t
    have enough thoughts and opinions to join Twitter.  Or don’t know what
    to say when they do sign up. Or…

  2. Stuart Bruce says:

    Great post Adrian. Not convinced I agree as I’ve been signed up since March 2011 and dismissed it then because of lack of anything interesting on it. Then that might have been because of the much smaller number of users, but despite the recent hype and explosion of interest I’m still not seeing anything of interest. I can’t think of a single other new launch where I haven’t seen a friend/member of my online network doing something interesting with it. I think your benefit 2 (opinion free) is probably why I haven’t seen anyone do anything interesting with it – yet! I might still spot someone using it usefully/interestingly.

  3. Worth checking out this presentation I put up recently on Slideshare. Pretty exhaustive run down of stats, facts, demographics and insights. Hope you find useful.

  4. Paul Rayment says:

    I think it also needs some way of finding out more about your followers or even an internal contact system. I guess it wasn’t set up for that but it would be nice to send someone a message if they’ve just followed you, especially as some users identities can be a tad cryptic.

  5. Megan says:

    Really great post! I totally agree with you. As much as I love Twitter, Pinterest will surpass Twitter because you don’t have to think, worry about grammar, etc. Pinterest is all visual which everyone is interested in and it’s easy to use once you’ve created an account so people of all ages can easily get addicted.

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