Pinterest Business Model {Everything You Need To Know}

Pinterest has acquired a crucial place in the social media world with over 100 million active users and an estimated worth of about $11 billion. This led to the emergence of the question as per trends of google search from the day of the launch of this website, which is, how does Pinterest earn?

The business model of this site is basically based on the strategic method to maximize and capitalize the network effect which laid initial preference on the network over money. Pinterest was launched in the year 2010, whereas, it was further updated in the year 2013, with its income-making feature, which is, ‘ the promoted pins’ which is in its beta stage at present as well.

Like other big names in the networking market of social media, Pinterest has also selected its profit generation model based on the advertisements and has taken numerous moves towards its development.

About Pinterest

Pinterest is a platform that allows its users to share and save images and content online. The content is saved online by pinning the pictures and content of interest.

One of the highest paces of growth in the social networking field is that of Pinterest. Furthermore, it is one of the most respected establishments by stakeholders across the globe. It is a social platform that allows users to reserve and share pictures or information in the form of pins.

A pin can be defined as a visible bookmark on which users can click and then it further redirects the user to the site another site. Pinterest does not aim for a certain group but is used by all who are interested in keeping a large pool of images or content as per their interest. Because of this particular reason, Pinterest has been growing at a pace faster than any of the competitors in this field.

Anatomy of Pinterest Influencers

According to a survey by HelloSociety, in which it studied 100 of the highest followed tastemakers on this site and found that on average these pinners have views of about 1.8 million followers.

The key point to be noted was that 79 percent of them were females.

On comparing the study background of the followers, it was found that maximum followers making about 57 % are from four-year college degree program whereas 15% of users have a masters degree. High school and two-year college degree holders contributed to be 14% and 12% usage respectively. And users with doctorate degree were negligible.

Pins by device

58% of users used Pinterest from Tablet and mobile users contributed to 30% of traffic on the site. Whereas, minimum usage of the site is from desktop/ notebook which is about 12%.


The major usage is from the bicoastal region and cities in which the top 5 cities are New York, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco.


Most of the Pinterest users, that is, over 50%, are from the age group 24-34 years of age. The age groups followed by this group are 35-44 years and 18-24 years with nearly equal usage.  Then is the usage by the users of age group 45-54 years of age. The users with <18 years are negligible in number.

Product purchase

88% of the users purchased a product they pinned. And about 49% of users purchased about 5 or more products they had pinned.

Network of pinners

There are a huge number of Pinterest users who pin a wide range of content from products, interior decor, architecture, clothes, places, to fan art and fan fiction.

The network of pinners on Pinterest generates about 223,000 pins from 23k different websites in the period of one month. The number of repins per month is about 17 million. Furthermore, Pinterest has 7 million likes in the same period of about one month.

Pinterest Business Model

From the very beginning in the year 2010, Pinterest was well oriented in accordance with to the web social catalog model from a business perspective.

Soon after the launch, it was recognized as a prominent platform for social media and networking. Since its business archetype included pins and pinboards which were made public and users could repin as per their liking.

At present Pinterest business model is not only limited to social networking features but also incorporates E-commerce, catalog, and content features.  Just like its competitors, like  Facebook, Snapchat, etc., Pinterest also has been using an income model relying on advertisements where it makes money from the number of users who open the website. Although, this company can earn even more if it exploits its potential to the maximum. But there is no benefit in haste.

Let us get a better insight into the major parts and basic draft of the Pinterest Business Model after which we will further discuss the ways in which this company makes profits.


The major and the most crucial element of the business model of Pinterest is Pins. Every part of the business revolves around Pins.

Pinterest functions as a catalog used to achieve and further repin the pins. The user who has an account on this platform can save any content or image of choice online in the pins form. The browser extension of Pinterest can be used to achieve these images or the images can be uploaded on its site.


Pinboard is the feature used to club the same kind of content and images under it. For instance, a person who is an interior designer will pin the images which will serve as a source of inspiration for different projects and all the similar images can be clubbed under a single pinboard named ‘design inspirations’.

Pinboards can either be public or private. Where private pinboards can be viewed only by that user, public pinboards are available for all the users to view and re-pin.

Pins and pinboards keep products and searches in use for a more valuable amount of time in comparison to search results on Facebook and Twitter, which means Pinterest has a relatively longer retention value.

Buyable pins

Just like other players in this game, Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest also has included a buy it opinion which allows Pinterest users to buy right from Pinterest without any involvement or opening the merchant’s site.

The buying feature is available to both merchants and consumers free of cost and this feature elevates the user experience. This feature makes the site user-friendly and engaging and does not leave users with any reason to leave the website.

Although, the buying feature is open for the merchants using BigCommerce, Shopify and Salesforce Commerce Cloud. The information on commission or deal between Pinterest and these services is not available.

Additionally, Pinterest has deals signed with digital wallet platforms like Stripe and Braintree. These are used to achieve the card numbers of the registered users and these carry out transactions on Pinterest itself.

Promoted Pins

The is the sole source of income making it the most crucial source of revenue generation to date. Promoted pins like usual pins are the paid content acting as promotion or ad is camouflaged with a minimal difference from the ordinary pin. Like any other platform, the ads are optimized according to the interest and searches of the particular user. Promoted pins are the major source of Pinterest profit.

How does Pinterest Make Money?

In the beginning, there was no source of income for Pinterest. Then in 2013, with the launch of a newer version in which a new feature of Promoted pins was included, the source of income came into being. These are nothing but advertisements, which are sponsored by the sponsors and they have a link that takes the user to the website of the sponsor.

Like any other promoted products or content on social media sites, promoted pins are also optimized according to the user thus aiming at the interested audience. How much the content will be promoted depends on the payment the sponsor offers and the bid by the sponsor is dependant on their interest of reach.

How Pinterest is a Better Social Network For Business?

Since marketing depends on the interest of the users and the primary function of this platform is to provide content and images according to the interest of the user. This basic feature on which Pinterest is based makes it apt for marketing purposes. The other networking platforms serve the function of connecting people whereas Pinterest has a different approach of making the conta=ent of interest in reach to users which creates a niche for marketers. This not only provides a great platform but also gives a higher click rate on the ads displayed leading to a higher number of conversations.

As per a survey by Millward Brown Digital, 96% people reported of using Pinterest primarily to search and collect information out of which 93% used it to plan for the products they need to buy. Furthermore, this [platform was reported to help make a decision about the product which they need to buy for 87% of users.

Thus, it is growing rapidly while other platforms have single-digit growth in overall members. This has a hike of over 50% per annum.

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