- Pinterest's revenue jumped 62% year-over-year in Q2 results released Thursday. The company attributed the growth to the internationalization of its advertising business, the simplification of its ad systems for smaller businesses and an improved ability to measure the effectiveness of ad spending.
- The visual discovery site saw similarly strong performance in user figures, reaching 300 million monthly active users (MAUs). Growth was driven by efforts to make the site more personal, Pinterest said, with improved search recommendations, more video content and more shoppable products. MAUs worldwide are now 30% higher than the site's total in 2018, propelled by a 13% boost in the U.S. and a 38% increase internationally.
- To celebrate a new peak in MAUs, the company commissioned a survey of 2,000 users from Talk Shoppe on attitudes toward Pinterest. Among the findings: 91% of respondents find Pinterest to be a "positive place," 80% go to the site to feel positive and 90% say Pinterest inspires them. Eighty percent reported the site helps them to build confidence, compared to "less than half" that say the same of Facebook.
After a rocky initial run trading on the public markets earlier this year, Pinterest posted strong Q2 results spurred by a healthy mix of new and expanded advertising and e-commerce products, including a streamlined ad platform and greater shopabble functionalities linking to a point of sale. The company continued to perform particularly well globally in terms of adding new users, along with showing decent gains in the U.S.
EMarketer forecasts that Pinterest's global ad revenue will surge 45.0% to $1.03 billion this year, passing the $1 billion mark for the first time, according to statistics shared with Marketing Dive.
"Pinterest's blowout quarter on the top and bottom lines was especially important in light of its post-IPO stumble in its first quarterly earnings," Andrew Lipsman, a principal analyst at eMarketer, said in emailed comments. "It's clear that Pinterest's ad business continues to scale through strong user growth and ongoing ARPU momentum, not to mention some signs that the international business might finally be getting off the ground."
Pinterest has been aggressively adding new advertising and shopping features in recent months to attract more of marketers' dollars, particularly in categories like retail, fashion and food. The company this week rolled out browseable digital catalogs that offer users personalized shopping ideas. In July, Pinterest also built out video tools for content creators and brands, including the ability to more easily upload videos to the site and retrieve analytical insights around lifetime views and performance.
Some major brands have leaned more heavily into Pinterest in their recent advertising pushes. Macy's, for example, launched its summer campaign with experiential activations that prominently featured Pinterest Pincodes, which are akin to QR codes. Consumers who scanned the codes with their phone were directed to Pinterest boards with outfits tailored to specific locations where the outdoor campaign was running.
With the Q2 results, Pinterest caps off an earnings season that's generally seen digital firms outperform Wall Street expectations, including Twitter and Snap. But Pinterest is also playing up a focus on positivity as an appeal to users and advertisers, who have grown increasingly wary of privacy and brand safety issues online and across social media. Pinterest in late July rolled out a "compassionate search" function that forgoes targeted advertising to instead provide users with wellness tips in dealing with issues like anxiety, stress and depression.
The positivity play has appeared to pay off at a time of heightened scrutiny toward the healthiness of social media use. Pinterest has tried to distance itself from being labeled a social media company, instead emphasizing its visual search and discovery tools. The company still competes closest with apps like Instagram, which has also accelerated a focus on shopping and product discovery.
The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) this week announced that Pinterest "continues to deliver an exceptional customer experience," leading the social media industry for the second straight year. The site also received the top score for mobile app quality and best-in-class for content relevance and information variety.
For advertisers, ACSI said Pinterest ranks highest among social media for providing "a level of advertising that is most acceptable to users."