Whether you're a die-hard Pinterest user, someone who's seriously considering signing up, or simply curious about Pinterest's role in online marketing, you might be asking yourself this question:
Is Pinterest social media?
Before we answer that, we first need to understand what a social media site is, so we can appreciate the nuanced differences between Pinterest and popular well-known social networking sites like Facebook and Instagram.
What is a social media website?
A social media site is any platform that allows for two-way communication between individuals, fostering inter-personal online relationships.
It’s a site where individuals can communicate, follow each other, tag them on a post and engage with their friends’ or followers' content, often by liking and commenting.
Popular social media platforms include Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, and more.
Is Pinterest Social Media
Following our argument, it is fair to say that Pinterest is NOT a social media platform. Sure, users can follow each other and even comment on pins, but the home feed comprises the topics that a user is interested in, rather than all being the pins posted by the people they follow.
Pinterest is a platform where people come to share and curate images of their favorite things in the world.
But you may be wondering, if Pinterest was a social network, would that really change how you or anyone else uses it?
If we define social media as “platforms that allow people to interact with each other,” then Pinterest is most certainly not social media. Users don't comment on each others' pins or engage in conversations. Instead, they engage with the platform's content and then go about their day. According to Wikipedia (and please note that this is a wiki – so feel free to make changes):
So, What is Pinterest?
Who better to describe Pinterest than Pinterest itself? According to their All About Pinterest page, Pinterest views itself as a visual discovery engine for finding ideas like recipes, home and style inspiration, and more.
This self-declaration isn’t echoed well by Wikipedia, as it primarily sees Pinterest as a social media service, first:
Pinterest is an 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.
How is Pinterest different from other social media?
While Facebook and Twitter are used to connect with others, Pinterest is all about discovery.
Most users aren’t on Pinterest to communicate with other people. Rather, they are looking to get inspired and discover new ideas. Their intent is to be reminded of something they want or need in the future rather than of something that is going on right now.
This contributes to a higher degree of motivation to act than on other social media platforms where users are more likely seeking entertainment rather than inspiration.
Because of this high level of motivation, Pinterest’s audience is already in a buying mindset when they arrive at your site from Pinterest. That means that your content needs to speak to this audience who have already made up their mind that they want or need something related to your offer.
Another major difference between Pinterest and other social networks has to do with planning vs the “in the moment” mindset of other apps.
On platforms like Instagram or Twitter, users tend to be looking for what is happening right now—or at least what’s hot this week.
So, if something isn’t relevant at the moment it could easily get lost in a feed or timeline somewhere. That doesn’t happen on Pinterest because most pins are saved from search engines or websites like ours where they can be found again in the future.
In fact, older pins tend to rank 6-8 months after they were first posted, whereas Tweets, Facebook, and Instagram posts barely last a week.
Is Pinterest Moving Towards Social Media with the 2022 ALgorithm Changes
It appears that Pinterest is realigning itself more to the social media aspect of its offering, with the new Pinterest changes that started in 2020 having a tremendous effect on how people are using the platform today.
Pinterest is encouraging users to share more video content and is also creating a space for its audiences to engage more, by liking and commenting on pins.
The idea pins are designed to retain people longer on the platform so that they can engage with other people's ideas instead of just looking at them and clicking off Pinterest.
This brings us back around to considering Pinterest as social media now because it appears that they are moving towards being a place where people interact while searching for ideas. I must say, however, despite the changes, Pinterest is far from being considered a social media platform.
What does the future hold for Pinterest?
As Pinterest continues to experiment with the future of retail and consumer search, the platform is likely to continue its growth, and prove to be even a must-have channel for businesses and eCommerce stores.
Hopefully, this guide has helped you learn what Pinterest is and why it's such an important marketing channel. If you don't already have an account set up for your business, now's the time!
If you need help setting up your Pinterest account or managing your presence, you can outsource Pinterest management services on Fiverr.
Pinterest is a unique platform that offers unique opportunities for marketers, but it's not social media in the traditional sense. Conclusion
Pinterest isn't a social media platform in the traditional sense, but that's good news for marketers.
Since it's not social, Pinterest is able to provide a platform where user behavior and business goals are aligned.
It's also a great place to build brand awareness and drive traffic back to your website. If you want to grow your business on Pinterest, be sure to check these Pinterest Management services