The next big thing in social media? Pinterest gets 2m visits in UK


Pinterest, an online pinboard that lets people share images and interests, is starting to attract attention in the UK after soaring in popularity in the US, according to new figures. According to Hitwise data, in January 2012 Pinterest was the 46th most popular social network in the UK, up from 65th position in December 2011 and up from 966th position when it first started gaining traction in the UK in March 2011.


The growth of visits to Pinterest has been fairly rapid but in particular there was a big jump between December and January.


Since March 2011 Pinterest has gone from 57,000 visits a month to over 1 million visits a month in October 2011. However the real growth spurt came between December and January when Pinterest increased UK Internet visits by 55% to 1.9 million a month.

January 2012 also represented a peak in average visit session time for Pinterest, with the average visit lasting 14 minutes 38 seconds, up from 8 minutes and 33 seconds in March 2011.

This shows that people not only are people visiting Pinterest more, they are also more engaged with the website as they have more interesting content to browse through.

Pinterest relies heavily on other social networks as a source of traffic. In fact social media was responsible for 27% of all visits coming to Pinterest in January, more than any other category online including search (19.5% of visits).


The bar chart above also shows that since the site’s launch Pinterest has increased its reliance on social traffic as well as growth in the proportion of visits coming from search engines.

Google UK remains the single biggest source of traffic, responsible for 17.5% of all clicks coming to Pinterest in January, but Facebook was a very close second with 16.9% of all clicks coming direct from a Facebook page.

As Pinterest starts to find its feet in the UK, using the Experian Mosaic demographics we can see who are the early adopters using the website.

Looking at the Mosaic types visiting Pinterest in the last 12 weeks, the early adopters are Study Buddies, University Fringe, Urban Cool and Bright Young Things.

These are primarily students or graduates in the early stages of working life, who are well educated and live in the urban areas of the UK.


Hitwise post code demographics confirms that a lot of the visits to Pinterest are coming from the big cities, with London Internet users 31% more likely to visit Pinterest than the average user, and university cities Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol, Nottingham and Edinburgh all registering more visits than the population averages.

Inevitably with the growing popularity of a new social network will come the question of whether Pinterest is a threat to the well established social media players like Facebook and Twitter.

At this stage, Pinterest is some way off being able to challenge the likes of Facebook, which receives over a billion visits a month in the UK alone.

In the report, Hitwise stated that even if Pinterest continues to grow there is no reason to suggest that it presents a threat to Facebook, Twitter or the other major social networks.

The research firm said that historical data suggests that if a social site is sufficiently different from its predecessors it can flourish in harmony rather than in competition with other social networks.

Facebook and Twitter for example are very different social sites and cater to different needs and applications. They are not direct rivals, and our clickstream data shows that the interaction between the two sites is very strong, indicating there are many people online who use both networks freely, the company said.

The future of Pinterest in the UK at least will depend on how it differentiates itself from the competition and whether users have enough to keep them coming back to the website as well as using their other social profiles. We will be monitoring the results with interest and as always keeping you up to date with the latest stats and developments.


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