We have all been a witness to how Instagram has grown by leaps and bounds in less than 5 years. From just another App with a loyal following to one of the fastest growing online social networks in the world, Instagram has given a whole new meaning to socialising over the Internet. Similarly, Pinterest, an image-based social networking portal, has also taken the virtual circuit by storm. In a matter of a few years, Pinterest has become the third-largest growing social network, after Facebook and Twitter.
Since its launch in October 2010, Instagram’s user base has been steadily growing. The networking App managed to cross a healthy 1 million plus users within the first year of its inception. In 2013, Instagram had about 100 million monthly active users and by the end of 2014, the website has declared it has a whopping 300 million monthly active users!
Pinterest, which was launched in March 2010, also got off to a fantastic start with as many as 40,000 unique visitors in just five months. By February 2012, it had 10.4 million and in October 2013 the user base increased to 70 million.
Looking at the growing numbers, it’s clear how visual content is driving people’s imagination.
Since, both Instagram and Pinterest are photo-based platforms; we need to understand its relevance in visual content marketing and how you can use both or either to optimum use.
Pinterest boasts of nearly 40 million women monthly active users. In terms of percentages that makes it a robust 80% women users. More than 92% of ‘pins’ on this social site are made by its women users. Whereas Instagram is among the top 10 mobile Apps that overpowers the Pinterest’s engagement rate with 300 Million+ monthly active users. Its demographic sweet spot is teens & millennials, covering about 23% of the total.
2. User Activity
Pinterest is mostly the “I want” driven social media, where users and shoppers come together only when they need something. For most people, it’s the digital version of catalogs and magazines. But Instagram is the ultimate ‘me’ social media option. The filters add a better-than- reality-gloss to the photographs that you post on the App.
3. Content marketing tactics
Pinterest is more about social media content curation. It focuses on important people, products and brands with related keywords and the Pinners are taste arbiters here. Pinterest not only comprises of photos but it spotlights other visual content such as design and illustration, infographics and a host of other services.
Instagram, however, is about social media visual content creation. It’s basically, amateur photography meeting professional level quality. Do not forget that it was Instagram, which gave birth to the ‘Selfie’ generation. Apart from sharing, commenting and liking pictures, there is a lot one can do with Instagram. Video sharing, for instance, is climbing up on the popularity ladder.
4. Content distribution
On Pinterest, one can seek, find and collect stuff that he likes. It is actually a ‘me-time’ activity! Your content gets shared/repined by other people, both on Pinterest and from other sources too. On the contrary, Instagram is snap and share and through Instagram, one can post pictures on other platforms like Facebook and Twitter as well. Its active user base generates an average of 55 million photos every day and those photos and users generate 1.2 billion 'likes' on a daily basis. Since both Pinterest and Instagram hold the power of hashtags, their content reach can be exhaustive.
5. Link building
One of the main pros of using Pinterest for your business is that you can utilise link building far more easily and efficiently on this site. A majority of the images on Pinterest are linked to the websites. So when you click on the image, it takes you to the source website. On Instagram, however, the images don’t have a link source, neither on the phone application nor on the website. And if you add a link into the description, you are only able to access it through the mobile App. As far as link building is concerned, Instagram has its share of pitfalls and certainly won’t feature in the list of impressive platforms.
6. Marketing significance
Through Pinterest, your product comes under the shopping spotlight. It highlights your products and places them where your customers are shopping. On the other hand, Instagram is a brand builder. It makes your brand the focus of your story, but most importantly, helps in deriving user generated content (UGC) which gives your brand an indirect consumer endorsement.
If you are left wondering about which out of these two you should choose to further your business, we would suggest you go with both. Pinterest and Instagram are much in demand photo-based platforms with similar audiences who are interested in attractive and original content. So, it’s good to be on both the platforms as they come with different benefits for your brand.