Is Pinterest a Social Media Network? An Interesting Read!

Is Pinterest a social media network?
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Everybody calls Pinterest a social media network, but it doesn’t feel like a social media app, right?

As a marketer or as a brand, these terms are really important, because if you don’t understand a tool, you can’t use it well. So, unless you understand what Pinterest is, and what its purpose is, you won’t use it effectively.

Before I put forward my comments on why I think Pinterest is not a social media network, here’s what the Pinterest co-founder, Ben Silbermann, has to say:

“Pinterest is a catalog of ideas. I think that’s a very different thing than a social network. The objectives of the two are different.  On a social network, you upload photos for other people to like. Pinterest, on the other hand, is self-serving.”

That’s quite an apt description of Pinterest! And, before I go ahead and explain why Pinterest is not actually a social media network, let’s look at what a social media network is:

What is a Social Media Network?

In general terms, social media network is a site that enables community-based interaction and content sharing. Now, social media networks could be sites like Facebook that connects friends and family or sites like LinkedIn that connects colleagues and corporates. The main purpose is that it allows people to connect with each other and share about their personal and professional lives.

Some perfect examples of social media networks are Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and Snapchat.  These sites allow you to connect with the people you meet in your everyday lives and learn about their everyday life. These sites are more people-centric revolving around the person posting the content.

Next in line are sites like Pinterest, YouTube, Tumblr, and Reddit that focus more ideas and information than people. These sites are more idea-centric with more focus on the concept over who’s posting it.

After a general idea on these social media sites, let’s look specifically at Pinterest and how it qualifies and doesn’t qualify as a social media networking site.

Pinterest as a Social Media Network:

Is Pinterest a social media site? Given the broader definition of social media networks, it would be unjustifiable to completely eliminate Pinterest as a social media site. However, these points will help you learn how Pinterest differs from other social media sites:

Pinterest is not about latest updates, it’s more about valuable content:

Have you seen how Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter are always showing the latest updates on their feeds. You open it to check what’s happening around at the moment.

But, with Pinterest, your Pinterest feed is more about the content that you’re interested in and may or may not be recently added. This content also may or may not belong to your friends, but it’s not important, more important is that it’s something that you value.

Even when you pin content from your friend’s boards or have a look at their boards, it doesn’t matter if they pinned it recently or a year back. It’s the relevance of pin that you’re more interested in.

Pinterest is a content-centric platform:

Is Pinterest a social media site?

Pinterest is all about good content. As I referred before, it’s a visual discovery platform.

For example, if you’re looking for Kim Kardashian, you go on Instagram and search for her. If you’re looking for tweets of Narendra Modi, you go on Twitter. You want to know about the latest Coldplay song, you open YouTube.

But, when you’re looking for ideas like latest fashion or recipe or home décor, you switch to Pinterest. Pinterest is designed in such a way that your focus will always shift to “what” is being posted over “who” posted it. In fact, if you’re simply browsing through, you would not even know who posted the content unless you click on it.

Pinterest Boards are super useful to save everything you like at one place:

Is Pinterest a social media site?

You might like thousands of posts on Instagram and Facebook, and they would be lost somewhere in your Activity log.

It’s not the same with Pinterest. Working as a traditional pinning board, Pinterest saves all your interests in proper boards. You can actually curate everything you like and refer to it whenever you feel like.

Pinterest also recommends “boards for you” to connect you with similar ideas like the ones you are interested in. Again, notice the difference, it’s not asking you to connect with new people, it’s asking you to connect with new boards.

Final Words:

There’s no clear answer to Is Pinterest a social media network. But, one thing is clear, it’s a super useful app that’s made to hand-pick your favorite ideas and inspiration and store them.

As businesses and marketers, it’s important to learn that your content should be inspirational and valuable to make a difference to Pinterest users. They have to really like your pin to pin you to their boards.

You can learn everything about Pinterest with my Pinterest guide here.

If you have any questions regarding Pinterest, you can let me know below.

Harshita Agrawal

I started as a Freelancer with small projects only to learn that I was capable of so much more. I underestimated myself for long till my clients enjoyed my work as much as I did. Now, I want to share some of the proven tips & tricks of the online marketing world that helped me grow. I hope they help you too.

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