Pinterest is a visual bookmarking platform that enables its users to discover and save images or videos in their own albums.
The company, which is headquartered in San Francisco, California, was founded in 2010 by Ben Silbermann, Evan Sharp, and Paul Sciarra.
Pinterest, as the name would suggest, is often used as a virtual pinboard to capture one’s interest across a variety of categories such as cooking, fashion, and so much more. The images, called Pins, are then saved on boards.
The platform then utilizes various machine learning technologies to suggest related imagery once it gets to know your preferences.
Pinterest, furthermore, has social media capabilities such as the option to follow other accounts, like and comment on their posts, and even share them to your own network.
In recent times, the platform has also expanded into short-form videos (similar to TikTok) by introducing Pinterest Premiere.
Simultaneously, users can purchase products right from the platform. Brands like IKEA or Walmart advertise their items on Pinterest. You’ll normally be redirected to the merchant’s site when finding an item that you like.
And although Pinterest had its fair share of controversies throughout the past, which involved a gender discrimination lawsuit brought on by its former COO Francoise Brougher, it remains one of the world’s most popular social platforms.
Additionally, long-time CEO and founder Ben Silberman stepped down from his role in June 2022 and was ultimately replaced by Bill Ready who previously held leading roles at Google and PayPal.
In 2021, Pinterest generated $2.58 billion in revenue, representing an increase of over 50 percent from the year prior. 2021 also became the first profitable year for the company. Pinterest makes money via advertising through various types of pins.
Meanwhile, the platform’s monthly active users (MAU) currently hover at around 430 million people. The majority of those users, more or less 75 percent, are female.
Pinterest went public back in April 2019, which allowed the firm to raise $1.4 billion – adding to the $1.5 billion that investors poured into the firm during its life as a private corporation.
The methodology with which competitors of Pinterest are ranked is based on publicly available data. Information such as the funding raised, revenue, number of users, and anything in between will be considered.
We will include competing platforms from across the world since Pinterest itself can be accessed globally as well.
Most of the firms on this list are either social media networks or known for allowing users to organize their images across boards.
It has to be noted that this analysis should not be seen as an endorsement of either service. It is merely a summary of the competition that Pinterest currently faces.
So, without further ado, let’s take a closer look at the top 7 competitors of Pinterest.
Headquarters: Menlo Park, California Founder(s): Kevin Systrom, Mike Krieger Year Founded: 2010
Instagram, with over 2 billion monthly active users, is one of the most popular social platforms ever created. It has become the de-facto method with which people share photos and videos with their friends, family, and wider network.
Pinterest, therefore, competes with Instagram on the social media frontier. However, while Pinterest focuses more on search and curation, Instagram places its efforts on the discoverability of content – either via the user’s feed, on stories, short-form videos, and more.
Most of the search that is being conducted via Instagram is to aid that discoverability aspect, namely by allowing users to find other pages they would likely follow and engage with. Search on Instagram is primarily done via hashtags while Pinterest relies on keyword-based searches.
The two platforms also place a particular emphasis on commerce. Back in May 2020, Instagram unveiled Shop, which enables users to browse products from favorite brands, creators, as well as Instagram itself.
Meta, which has been known as Facebook for the longest time, famously acquired Instagram for $1 billion back in April 2012. It is widely believed that Instagram is now Meta’s biggest money maker, with some estimates pegging its annual advertising revenue at around $26 billion.
Headquarters: Shanghai, China Founder(s): ByteDance Year Founded: 2016
TikTok certainly needs no introduction at this point. It has revolutionized short-form video content to that point that many of the platforms on this list, whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest, have now unveiled similar video features of their own.
Being a sub-organization of Chinese tech giant ByteDance and thus flushed with billions in funding has allowed TikTok to quickly attract users. TikTok’s monthly active user count now stands at around 1 billion – a milestone it reached back in September 2021.
Ironically, just a month later, Pinterest officially unveiled its TikTok clone when it introduced a separate Watch tab in its app. Simultaneously, Pinterest introduced a $20 million creator fund to support those creating pins and videos for the platform.
One way with which Pinterest tries to differentiate itself is by allowing users to save those videos. TikTok, on the other hand, does not allow you to do that, forcing many users to download the content directly onto their phones.
Pinterest, furthermore, enables creators to directly respond to a follower’s pins via a feature dubbed Take. The platform currently works together with celebs such as Jennifer Lopez or Megan Thee Stallion to get its TikTok clone off the ground.
Headquarters: Mountain View, California Founder(s): Larry Page, Sergey Brin Year Founded: 1998
This may not be obvious at first glance but Google is certainly competing with Pinterest when it comes to the search domain. In fact, users on Pinterest now conduct over 5 billion searches on the platform every month.
While this is still a far cry from the 3.5 billion searches Google facilitates every day, it can be denied that Pinterest has become a formidable competitor when it comes to image search. In fact, Pinterest even mentioned Google as a direct competitor when it filed to go public.
Both Google and Pinterest have, furthermore, begun to monetize their image searches in similar ways. The two platforms charge advertisers for every click that goes through their website (normally referred to as Cost-Per-Click, or CPC).
The two platforms also display related images while allowing users to bookmark content they like. However, Google has not yet managed to crack the social networking industry. Previous attempts, such as Google+, have been shut down after failing to attract a relevant number of users.
Headquarters: Palo Alto, California Founder(s): Adi Tatarko, Alon Cohen Year Founded: 2009
Houzz is a platform for designing and remodeling your home. Users can browse more than 25 million high-resolution photos of home interiors and exteriors while filtering them based on style, location, or room (e.g., kitchen or bedroom).
The founders, who are originally from Israel and met during a backpacking trip in Thailand, created Houzz to solve their own problems. Back in 2006, they purchased a 1950s ranch house in Palo Alto which they subsequently had issues finding reliable professionals, such as carpenters, for.
Over more than a decade, Houzz grew from a website where people post design inspirations to a community of 65 million. In fact, anything that a homeowner would want can likely be found via Houzz.
For once, you can connect directly with over 3 million home professionals including architects, general contractors, interior decorators, and more. Users can not only share their saved designs but even draw directly on photos within the Houzz app.
Users can, furthermore, purchase more than 5 million products and materials, such as furniture or tiles, directly from the app. Houzz also offers its own branded credit card in partnership with Mastercard, allowing users to earn up to 5 percent in cashback when shopping on the platform.
Houzz, which employs around 1,750 people, has raised $613.6 million in funding to build the world’s most powerful home (re)modeling platform.
Headquarters: Menlo Park, California Founder(s): Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes Year Founded: 2004
Facebook, despite all of the negative press that it has garnered over the year, continues to be the world’s most popular social media platform. With 2.934 billion monthly active users, it effectively touches 36.8 percent of the world’s population.
As a result, Facebook is primarily focused on connecting people, for instance via the newsfeed, which it popularized, or through direct messaging (in a separate app dubbed Messenger), groups, and other platforms (i.e., Instagram, WhatsApp, Oculus) it owns.
Facebook, which rebranded itself into Meta back in October 2021, has utilized that ownership and the data it collects about users to create one of the biggest-ever advertising machines. In 2021, the combined firm generated $117.9 billion in revenue.
Headquarters: Santa Mónica, California Founder(s): Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, Reggie Brown Year Founded: 2011
Another social network that Pinterest mentioned as a direct competitor in its S-1 filing was Snapchat. The platform’s current monthly user count stands at 428 million people, most of whom are located in the younger age brackets.
Users spend an average of 30 minutes per day on Snapchat, which is primarily accessed via its mobile app. Unlike Pinterest, Snapchat is mostly used to communicate with friends, either via text messages or photos and videos.
The biggest differentiator between the two platforms is the fact that content on Snapchat is only of temporary nature. Text messages, photos, and more normally disappear after a certain number of seconds.
As a result, Snapchat users normally don’t utilize the platform for curation purposes. Apart from disappearing content, Snapchat has revolutionized the social media domain when it introduced temporary (video) stories as well as by heavily promoting filters.
And this has certainly translated to some big numbers for the company. In 2021, Snapchat generated $4.1 billion in revenue. The company went public back in March 2017, which allowed the founders to raise $3.4 billion on top of the $2.7 billion investors poured into the company during its life as a startup.
Headquarters: Walnut Creek, California Founder(s): Dan Cederholm, Rich Thornett Year Founded: 2009
Dribbble is the world’s leading community for creative professionals to showcase their work and get hired. Millions of designers upload projects in categories such as app design, illustration, print, product design, and more.
The platform allows you to follow other creators as well as like, comment on, and share their work. You can also directly message designers to hire them. Over 40,000 companies, including Airbnb, Google, and Facebook, have hired designers via Dribbble thus far.
Over 12 million users (based on 2020 data) have signed up for Dribbble thus far. The platform, which is entirely bootstrapped and employs close to 100 people, has since expanded into a variety of other aspects of the design process.
Dribbble, apart from helping designers get discovered and hired, hosts regular design challenges (dubbed Playoffs), sells courses and workshops for beginners and advanced professionals, sells dozens of templates, and offers a premium subscription to both companies and freelancers to ease the hiring process.
The platform, much like Houzz, claims that it can serve its users much more efficiently due to its laser focus on one community (= designers). For instance, advertisers on Dribbble can expect a click-through rate of 30 percent to 60 percent, which is 3x times higher than that of Pinterest.
Pinterest, given that it is both a social media network as well as a commerce platform, naturally competes with dozens of other companies.
After all, global digital advertising spending alone totaled a whopping $521.02 billion in 2021 according to Statista.
As previously stated, many brands now advertise their products on Pinterest. The revenue it generates from shoppable apps is growing twice as fast as the firm’s overall revenue.
Pinterest has, furthermore, stored over 1 billion shoppable products in its database thus far. It’s therefore not a far stretch to assume that Pinterest might eventually allow users to purchase products directly within the platform.
Presently, there are various commerce marketplaces that allow people to utilize for product curation. The biggest one, which Pinterest mentioned as a competitor in its S-1, is Amazon.
Amazon, by virtue of selling over 12 million products via its marketplaces, is often used for curating shopping baskets. I, personally, have used it to save books I might be interested in reading.
Similarly, there are niche-specific marketplaces that compete with Pinterest. For instance, platforms such as Poshmark or Vinted can also be used to receive shopping inspiration.
On the social media side, there are obviously a plethora of other platforms that didn’t make the cut but technically compete with Pinterest.
Pinterest specifically mentioned Twitter, which has around 240 million daily (!) active users, in the above-mentioned S-1 filing.
Other examples of competing social media networks are Reddit and LinkedIn. Even messaging platforms, such as Telegram or WhatsApp, offer some of the same features including texting or liking and sharing content.
Lastly, one could also include YouTube as a competitor. The video juggernaut has switched towards promoting short-form content as well. And YouTube itself is even better at curating content that the users might want to engage with.