Pinterest surpasses 100 million monthly users

Digital scrapbooking platform Pinterest has seen more than 100 million monthly users sign up to its service, with users adding 1.5 million 'pins' per month.

Online scrapbooking platform Pinterest announced this week it had surpassed the 100 million monthly user mark, with 45 percent of users outside of the United States.

The five-year-old startup from California, valued at $11 billion, said it was blown away by how many users got on board the platform that allows individuals to "pin" images based on their interests.

"[Most of the users] are not just visiting Pinterest once a month, but they're actually discovering something so interesting that they're saving it or are clicking through to the website," co-founder Evan Sharp said. "It's 100 million active users, more than 70 per cent of whom are actively engaged."

Based on the latest figures, Pinterest remains well behind Facebook-owned photo-sharing app Instagram, which claims about 300 million users. Sharp is not phased by this, saying the two platforms serve different purposes and have different audiences.

"Instagram is more of a social service at the end of the day," he said. "It's more similar to a social network; [Pinterest] is much more like a search engine."

The scrapbooking-style service has previously taken pains to avoid being labelled a social network. Earlier this year, co-founder and chief executive Ben Silbermann described Pinterest as a "catalogue of ideas" to help people discover and try new things in their lives.

"Right now the focus of the company is growing around the world, outside of the United States," Silbermann said at the time. "We're focusing on local content: if you find a recipe in France it should be a French recipe probably, not always but usually, or something saved by somebody in France."

In February, Pinterest had approximately 70 million monthly visitors, with more than 30 billion "pins" uploaded.

According to Pinterest, the number of new "pins" is now estimated to be more than 1.5 billion per month, and whilst the company said the majority of Pinterest users are women, the gender gap "is closing a little bit every month".

In June, Pinterest widened its offering in the US to draw in more revenue with the debut of Buyable Pins, taking the platform into the digital marketplace and further away from social networking.

The new addition allows consumers to buy goods directly from Pinterest listings that are identified by blue price tags. Stripe, along with PayPal's Braintree, have partnered Pinterest to help process payments for the site's Buyable Pins feature.

Social networks have tried similar e-commerce experiments before, with Twitter attempting to establish itself as a "one-click, direct link" to Amazon through the use of the hashtag "#AmazonCart", which would see a product add come up as a Tweet, with consumers then able to purchase the product.

After announcing its intention to shut down its Webstore online marketplace, yesterday Amazon began encouraging sellers to migrate their stores to Canadian e-commerce platform, Shopify.

Shopify had previously established partnerships with Facebook and Pinterest, with the social networking giant announcing on Wednesday that Shopify merchants will soon be able to sell their wares through a new "Shop" section on small business Facebook pages.

As part of a bid to expand its footprint beyond the internet and into offline commerce, crafts marketplace Etsy launched a free credit card reader to its independent sellers. In October, the company said 35 percent of its sellers do a bulk of their business at in-person events such as craft fairs and market stalls.

After listing as a public company in April, Etsy trialled itself as a crowdfunding platform for its US sellers to help them raise money for their homespun wares.

With AAP


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