Hitwise Pins Pinterest to Pinboard of Top Social Networking Sites

Heather Dougherty, the Director of Research at Experian Hitwise, has written about a “Pinteresting Trend in Social Media.” She says, “Pinterest, a site launched in March 2010 that describes itself as an online pinboard to organize and share things you love, recently emerged as one of the top 10 websites within the Hitwise Social Networking & Forums category.”

The invitation only site received nearly 11 million total visits during the week ending Dec. 17, 2011, almost 40 times the number of total visits versus just six months ago (the week ending June 18, 2011).


Pinterest content has something for everyone, but the site is dominated by images featuring home décor, crafts, fashion, and food. Not surprisingly, 58 percent of the visitors to the site in the 12 rolling weeks ending Dec. 17 were female and 59 percent were between the ages of 25 and 44.

Both Pinterest and the entire Social Networking & Forums category receive their highest share of visits from California and Texas. However, the Social Networking category as a whole over-indexes on share of visits from Northeastern states, while Pinterest over-indexes on visits from the states in the Northwest and Southeast. This data indicates that Pinterest visitors have a different profile versus their counterparts visiting other social networking sites such as Facebook and YouTube.

In fact, nine of the top ten over-indexed states for Pinterest visitors also over-index for the Hobbies and Crafts category (versus the online population) which is expected given the abundance of content about crafts on the website.

When comparing the Mosaic USA 2011 types that visit both Pinterest.com and Hobbies and Crafts websites during the 12 weeks ending Dec. 17, 2011, the data shows that Boomers and Boomerangs are the group most likely to visit, particularly the Pinterest website (comprising over 10% of visits). This group of consumers is characterized as baby boomers and young adults who are heavy web users who spend time on house and garden, sports and fitness, and family-oriented websites. This information is useful to companies who wish to target their content to be “pinned” by Pinterest users.

Meanwhile, in another part of the planet, James Murray, the Marketing and Research Analyst for Experian Hitwise UK, reports, “MySpace – once the most visited social network in the UK – fell out of the top 10 Social Networks and Forums rankings for the first time this November to be replaced by ‘discovery engine’ Stumble Upon.”

Now, this trend isn’t surprising since MySpace traffic in the UK has been in decline for the last three years. But, along with the “Pinteresting Trend” in the US, these trends demonstrate that the social media space continues to evolve.

So, what does this mean to social media marketers?

You should continue to focus on Facebook and YouTube, which Experian Hitwise reports are two of the four most-visited websites in Canada, the U.K., and the U.S.

And you will want to pay attention to Twitter, Yahoo! Answers, and LinkedIn, which Hitwise ranks behind Facebook and YouTube in its list of Top 10 Social Networking Sites in Canada, the U.K., and the U.S.

But keep your eyes open for other social networking sites like Pinterest, which ranked #9, and Google+, which ranked #10, in the Social Networking & Forums category in the U.S. during the week ending Dec. 17, 2011.

The horse race isn’t over yet. If fact, it’s just starting to get interesting.

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