Social Media Platform or Search Engine?

There is a widespread misunderstanding that Pinterest is a social media platform. Now let’s have a look at the typical behaviour of a Pinterest user.

The average Pinterest user doesn’t use Pinterest because they want to know how their friends are doing, or because they want to interact with colleagues and potential customers, but rather they are looking for something:
Recipe ideas for dinner, decoration ideas for a boring room, or a slogan for the kids’ next birthday party.

While users of Instagram, Facebook and Twitter mainly create their own content in the form of status updates or pictures, Pinterest provides 80 percent of all content. 

Most Pinterest users share existing content with their followers. Instagram, Facebook and Twitter also offer the possibility to exchange or retweet messages. But most users create their own content on these networks. 

Can You Click ‘Like’? 

Pinterest used to have a ‘Like’ button, but the purpose of it was never really understood.

It was there, and many people used it to mark ideas that didn’t belong on the bulletin board, or to attract the attention of potential followers. But now the “Like” button has been removed, and unlike Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, you can’t connect pins with it.

Once again Pinterest has shown what it doesn’t want to be: a social media platform. 

Can You Leave Comments?

Comments are not as important on Pinterest as they are on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Most people don’t use this function at all, and the ones who do comment on Pinterest are often spam accounts, unfortunately. 

Sometimes Pinterest users just browse until Pinterest tells them what they might be interested in. 

How many times have you found something great at Pinterest that you were not even looking for? 

The alternate Search Engine

That’s why Pinterest is not about networking, status updates and communication with family, friends and colleagues, but about discovering ideas for everyday life: recipes, decoration, fashion, children, education… Would you like to see the other categories of Pinterest?

Click on the Pinterest icon and it will show you suggestions without signing up or registering for an account.
Write a letter in the search bar and it will show you the categories you can browse in.

Pinterest has a function with which you can search for a specific item. For example, if you see a chair that you like “in the real world”, you can take a picture of it and Pinterest will show you what the chair is called and where you can buy it. A unique and ingenious feature.. 

Most people have a visual aptitude. We learn best when we see pictures. And it’s easier to navigate through a series of images than to go through text and links. 

The question is, why would someone search for something on Google and be tormented by a lot of text when they can easily search on Pinterest and the search results are even presented in beautiful graphics? 

People will search more and  more via images. It is easier and at the end you have more fun and can find your ideas faster. Keeping that in mind, it is safe to say that Pinterest will continue to grow in importance as a visual platform alongside YouTube and Instagram, and that Google will be a powerful competitor as a search engine. 

Pinterest Users Have A Different Approach

However, there is a crucial difference between the two search engines, and again it is the behavior of the user:

The average Google users know exactly what they want. They have specific questions such as “What is Reagan’s first name” or “Who was the 12th President of the United States” and want a clear and correct answer.

Pinterest users, on the other hand, do not really know what they want. They have questions to which there are essentially several answers, and they keep all their options open for the time being. 

They are often on the verge of making a decision, planning an event and want to be inspired. They are looking for ideas for their next holiday, for the children’s birthday party or for dinner. It is precisely this openness and flexibility of Pinterest users that makes Pinterest a unique tool.

Guided Search

In addition, Pinterest has implemented a guided search function, explaining it with slogans such as “Find what you are looking for and more” or  “Sometimes you don’t know what you are looking for until you find it” . 

As with “Google Search”, you enter a term in the search box and will receive suggestions based on your search term.
The search mask in the Pinterest smartphone application is available on the Home Feed as well.
This will make it even easier for Pinterest users to search for ideas on the smartphone. 

Pinterest has made significant improvements with the search function option and further indicated that it  itself wants to be seen as a search engine rather than a social media platform.

Similar Suggestions With A Click Of a Circle

The decisive difference to Google is not only the visual element, Pinterest not only shows the best results for a search term, but also similar results you can open with just a click.
If you find an interesting pin, you can simply touch the white circle on the pin and Pinterest will show you similar pins. 

For example, if you have found a pancake recipe while searching for a breakfast idea, you can click on the circle to view and compare other pancake recipes.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, Pinterest is not so much about Instagram, Facebook and the like as it is about Google. If you have a business and want to be found by potential customers, there is no way around Pinterest.

Oh, and if you finally need another good reason to use Pinterest, here it is: Pinterest is indexed by Google. This means that your profile, bulletin boards and pins will appear in the Google search results and thus – through the workaround of Pinterest – lead to your website. 

If you start using Pinterest today, you could have two search engines within a few weeks.