Going Visual: The Rise of Pinterest & Messaging Apps

In 2012, Pinterest hit the 10 million visitor mark while becoming the first network in history to reach the landmark so fast. Three years later, today, Pinterest doesn’t seem to be slowing down.

As similar visual platforms and messaging apps continue transforming the social media landscape, businesses find themselves forced to adapt to their markets. And, as today’s roundup shows, SMBs in particular are slowly but surely investing more time and money into hitting the right target…

The Social Networking Battle Rages on 

If you think that all your consumers are on Facebook or Twitter, I have bad news for you. The average social media user has a presence on 5.54 networks and is active on almost three of them!

GlobalWebIndex recently released its latest GWI Social report, which shares the latest figures for social networking behaviors and engagement levels for more than 30 markets.

In 2014, the fastest-growing platforms were Pinterest and Tumblr. With an increase of 97% and 95% in active user bases, the only worthy competitors were Instagram (+47%) and LinkedIn (+38%). The group that drove those rises? Millennials, especially the 16-24 year olds.

When it comes to “traditional” networking, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Google+ still have the upper hand. Facebook, for example, has the most members (81%) and activity (42%), while YouTube is visited by more than 8 in 10 adult Internet users. Google+ has been holding its ground with 21% of active users.

“Facebook is being used more passively as it transitions into a hub that underlies our social behaviors rather than hosts them directly. 40% of Facebook users in fact say that they have ‘browsed their newsfeed for updates without posting/commenting on anything’ in the last month,” says the study.

Social media users love being able to connect with others where it is most convenient for them. So, it should come as no surprise that they consider messaging apps as their de facto media of communication.

The fastest-growing apps in 2014 were SnapChat, Facebook Messenger, Pinterest, and Instagram. The former owes its success to teenagers, who are very active in the UK, Ireland, Sweden, the U.S., and Canada.

The report also paints an interesting picture of users based on age groups:

  • 16-24 year olds are on social networks because they want to follow celebrities and find entertaining content. But most importantly, they have a fear of missing out on things.
  • For the 25-34 year olds, it’s about sharing their lives, networking, and promoting their work
  • The 35-44 age group is into networking, self-promotion, and news and trends
  • The older crowd (45-64) wants to stay in touch with friends and network with like-minded users.

SMBs and Internet Marketing: We Are Getting There

Many Small and Medium-Sized Businesses have given little importance to Internet marketing for a long time. According to the BrightLocal Blog, 70% invest less than $500 per month on it.

In October and November 2014, BrightLocal and ChamberOfCommerce.com asked questions to 736 SMBs, mostly located in North America, to understand their plans for 2015. SMB Internet Marketing Survey 2014 reveals that positive changes are slowly but surely on the menu.

Last year, half of SMBs dedicated less than 30% of their marketing budgets to online channels. However, there are more (37%) plannning to increase spendings in 2015, than past years (21%). The reason may be because they are starting to see results with social networks, SEO, and email marketing. Word of mouth also remains an important factor.

There is still a majority of SMBs (64%) that don’t outsource Internet marketing. Having limited budgets, they want to limit costs. The marketing agencies and consultants that offer that option will trigger interest for 18% of them. Other things factor in a company’s decision to hire outside help, namely performance guarantees (14%), good reputation (13%), and relevant industry experience (12%).

No matter which way they choose to go, though, SMBs measure success with specific KPIs — phone calls (31%), website traffic (20%), and search engine rankings (20%):

“Different types of businesses will be concerned with different KPIs as success metrics. An Ecommerce business for example, will be more concerned with online metrics, whilst a local bakery might be more concerned with customers walking through the door,” says Myles Anderson on the BrightLocal Blog.

The best news from the survey comes from the mobile front. More than 65% of SMBs now have a mobile-friendly website. There were 59% in 2013.


(Photo source: BrightLocal Blog)

All the survey results are available here.

In Other News

Facebook is testing a new feature that allows users to read voice clips on the Messenger app. The company has also started reducing the distribution of posts (links, photos, videos, and status updates) that users report as hoaxes. A warning message will appear at the top.

Twitter has released the Recap (“while you were away”) feature on mobile and Digits, a developer-centric tool, for the Web. The company is also nudging top users to stop sharing photos from Instagram

Pinterest acquired Kosei, a company specializing in personalized product recommendations, and updated its search engine to serve gender-based results.

Tumblr launched Creatrs to help artists connect and partner with brands on advertising campaigns.

Promoted content is coming to Flipboard.

WhatsApp is now available as a web client: “[O]pen https://web.whatsapp.com in your Google Chrome browser. You will see a QR code — scan the code inside of WhatsApp, and you’re ready to go. You have now paired WhatsApp on your phone with the WhatsApp web client. Your phone needs to stay connected to the internet for our web client to work, and please make sure to install the latest version of WhatsApp on your phone. Unfortunately for now, we will not be able to provide web client to our iOS users due to Apple platform limitations.”

See you next Monday for another must-read roundup!

In the meantime, don’t forget to sign up here to know what’s coming soon at Paper.li!


Cendrine Marrouat
Paper.li Blog Staff Writer, Cendrine Marrouat is a French-born social media coach, curator, and author. She is the founder of Social Media Slant and the #smslantchat Twitter chat. Her latest e-book release, "The Little Big eBook on Social Media Audiences: Build Yours, Keep It and Win", is a comprehensive guide focusing on the four pillars of audience building. Follow her on Google+.

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2 Responses to “Going Visual: The Rise of Pinterest and Messaging Apps”

  1. Sunday

    Fascinating details and statistics on social media! These platforms have transformed the way we communicate and do business positively!

    Its pretty cool thinking of their continuous growth and prospects in the nearest future.

    Hopefully, every Internet marketer would understand and creatively apply the right platform for his business!
    Perhaps, SMBs will find this round up more timely than ever!
    This comment was shared in kingged.com as well!


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