Is Pinterest a Social Media Platform or a Search Engine?

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Is Pinterest a Social Media Platform or a Search Engine?


Is Pinterest a Social Media Platform or a Search Engine?

Pinterest is social media network that allows users to share images associated with project, goods, and services, and to visually discover new interests by browsing images others have posted.

You can think of Pinterest like a web-based pinboard or bulletin board — but with greater organizational functionality. You can also think of it as a bookmarking tool.

Like every other social media site, Pinterest has its own lingo:

  • When you share something on Pinterest, each bookmark is called a pin.

  • When you share someone else’s pin on Pinterest, it’s called a repin.

  • You group pins together by topic onto various boards or pinboards in your profile. Each board mimics a real-life pinboard.

You can share images you find online, or you can directly upload images onto Pinterest. Using the Pin It button, you can share directly in your browser from any web page. You can also share your pins on Twitter and Facebook.

Pinterest is a very popular tool for recipes. People can browse through images of delicious looking food, click on an image that looks good and be taken straight to the recipe instructions when they click on it. They can also save it to their own recipe board so they can access it later.

Is Pinterest A Social Media Platform or A Search Engine?

You’re probably quite knowledgeable about Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but are you familiar with Pinterest? And, is your business using it?

Pinterest just may be the search engine of the future, as well as the perfect place where people go to share photos, recipes and fun projects.

We are going to discuss whether Pinterest is a social media platform or a search engine.

What is Pinterest?

Pinterest, as we have discussed before, is basically a web-based bulletin board with incredible functionality. It’s also a bookmarking tool where users can add pins and boards for easy access at any time.

Users typically pin or save images they find on the web or on Pinterest to different boards they create. We already know that Pinterest is a popular tool for recipe-seekers.

Pinterest is also a place where users can interact with one another liking, commenting and saving other people’s items.

This unique, growing social media platform currently has over 300 million monthly users. According to Pinterest, if they were a country, they’d be the fifth largest in the world. In fact, their pins are up 75% this year alone.

Pinterest and Google

Let’s consider Google for a moment. It’s a place where most people go when they’re looking for something to do or buy. The same can be said of Pinterest.

Pinners are using Pinterest as a search engine looking for products, services, things to do and much more.

And, like Google, Pinterest is home to advertisers, thus increasing the usability of Pinterest for search.

Many Pinterest users use the platform to research brands and decide where to make their purchases. Users can find multiple ways to do their searching, from textual to visual, using imagery.

A Hybrid Model

Let’s consider that Pinterest is in fact a hybrid model because it’s a social media platform on the one hand and a visual search engine on the other.

Pinterest is a social media platform because users can share and bookmark items. These can then in turn “go viral.”

Social media is a place where people create and share information while communicating in communities. It’s a place where users gain followers and can follow other people and businesses. Like other social media platforms, the more followers you have, the more people see your pins.

Furthermore, users scroll through feeds like social media, they use hashtags for search, and they can even message other users.

So, in these instances Pinterest is a social media platform.

Conversely, it’s a search engine because, like Google, you can search using keywords or phrases. But, different than Google, users can search visually as well.

Consider the top 16 searches on Pinterest. If your business involves one of these categories, you want to utilize this power tool.

  • Food and Drink

  • DIY and Crafts

  • Home Decor

  • Holidays & Events

  • Hair & Beauty

  • Women’s Fashion

  • Design

  • Kids

  • Art

  • Weddings

  • Travel

  • Gardening

  • Photography

  • Film, Music and Books

  • Health and Fitness

  • Education

  • Affiliate Marketing

Users especially like the visual search tool that helps them search for any number of things. It even combines text with words and lets users search for similar objects from the images they already love.

Final Thoughts

Our conclusion is that Pinterest is equal parts social media platform and search engine.

It’s a place that’s exploding with potential and one your brand should take advantage of right away.

Many businesses forget about Pinterest, but it’s certainly a platform to pay attention to.

Second only to Facebook in social referrals, Pinterest users are clicking on pins and visiting websites at an unprecedented rate.

This is a terrific marketing strategy for your business because ultimately that’s where you want users – on your website, making purchases.


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