Is Pinterest Social Media or a Search Engine?

Last Updated on March 7, 2024


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Pinterest is a platform that has gained much attention in recent years. It is a visual search engine that allows users to discover, save, and share images and videos related to their interests.

But the question that arises most often when discussing Pinterest is: Is Pinterest social media, or is it a search engine?

This article aims to explore this topic and provide a clear answer as to whether or not Pinterest is a social media platform or a search engine platform.

Pinterest was launched in 2010 as a platform that allowed users to discover and save images that they found interesting.

Over time, it has evolved into a platform that allows users to discover and save images and share them with others.

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With over 478 million active users worldwide, Pinterest has become a significant platform.

The debate over whether Pinterest is social media or a search engine has been ongoing. Some argue it is a social media platform, while others argue it is a search engine.

This article will explore both sides of the argument to understand what Pinterest is, and finally answer the question: is Pinterest social media or a search engine?

Pinterest as a Social Media Platform

To understand whether or not Pinterest is a social media platform, it is essential to define what social media is.

Social media refers to platforms that allow users to create and share content, engage with other users, and build a network of followers.

Some popular social media platforms include Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

When we compare Pinterest to these social media platforms, we can see that it shares some characteristics.

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Like other social media platforms, Pinterest allows users to create and share content, schedule ahead of time, engage with other users, and build a network of followers.

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Users can create boards and pins, share their content with others, and interact with other users by commenting, liking, and reposting their content.

Pinterest also provides features that are unique to social media platforms. For example, users can follow other users, create group boards, and send direct messages.

These features allow users to build relationships with other users and engage with them. So Pinterest has SOME characteristics of a social media platform.

But, is Pinterest social media? We can’t yet definitively say. So, let’s look instead at what makes a search engine vs social media.

Pinterest as a Search Engine, individually patterned letters spelling out S E O on a white background
Photo by Merakist on Unsplash

Pinterest as a Search Engine

While Pinterest shares some characteristics with social media platforms, it also shares many characteristics with search engines.

Search engines allow users to search for information by entering keywords or phrases. The search engine then displays results based on the user’s search query.

Users can search for content using the search bar at the platform’s top. Pinterest also allows users to search for content by entering keywords or phrases.

When users enter a search query, Pinterest displays results based on the user’s search query. And the best tool to do that is using the Pinterest Keyword Vault.

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Pinterest also provides features that are unique to search engines. For example, users can filter their search results by categories, boards, and accounts.

This allows users to find content that is specific to their interests.

Based on these characteristics, we can say that Pinterest is a search engine. In fact, looking at the social search tool definition, it is a social search engine.

This is because it allows users to search for content by entering keywords or phrases and provides unique features to search engines.

So Pinterest has some similarities to social media but is Pinterest social media?

Well, if you want your content to get in front of your dream clients, then Pinterest needs to be treated, at least in part, as a search engine..

Pinterest visual search, phone screen open to social media apps with Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Clubhouse, Facebook
Photo by Adem AY on Unsplash

Comparison between Pinterest and other Social Media Platforms

To understand Pinterest we need to compare it with other social media platforms.

When we compare Pinterest to platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, we can see that Pinterest shares many characteristics with these platforms.

However, some key differences exist between Pinterest and other social media platforms. For example, Pinterest is a visual platform focusing on images and videos.

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This means that users on Pinterest are primarily looking for visual inspiration and ideas rather than socializing or networking.

Another key difference between Pinterest and other social media platforms is the way users interact with each other.

While users on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram primarily interact through likes, comments, and shares, users on Pinterest interact with each other through pins, repins, boards, and templates.

Although you do have the option to like, comment and message, it’s definitely not as common to do that on Pinterest.

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Comparison between Pinterest and other Search Engines

When we compare Pinterest to search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo!, we can see that Pinterest shares many more characteristics with these platforms.

Like other search engines, Pinterest allows users to search for content by entering keywords or phrases.

It also provides unique features to search engines, such as filtering search results by categories, boards, and accounts.

However, there are some key differences between Pinterest and other search engines. For example, Pinterest is a visual platform focusing on images and videos.

This means that users on Pinterest are primarily looking for visual inspiration and ideas rather than a written format. This means visuals are EVERYTHING.

Another key difference between Pinterest and other search engines is how it presents search results.

While other search engines present search results in a list format, Pinterest presents search results in a visual format, with images and videos displayed prominently.

Pinterest Elements

Pinterest has long been categorized as a social media platform. But is Pinterest social media?

Well, its extensive search capabilities can certainly be classified as a search engine.

In this section, we will learn all about Pinterest and the social media and search engine elements that differentiate it from traditional search engines and social media.

Pinterest Search Bar

One of the most obvious factors that make Pinterest a search engine is its search bar. Users can type keywords or phrases related to the content they seek, and Pinterest will generate relevant results.

This function is similar to search engines like Google, Bing, or Yahoo. Pinterest search bar or Pinterest visual search are such amazing functions.

Keywords

Keywords are one of the other biggest factors to consider when determining is Pinterest social media or a search engine.

Like a search engine, Pinterest utilises keywords to help users find the content they seek.

Users can add keywords to their pins and boards, which makes them more discoverable to other users searching for similar content.

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Pinterest’s algorithm uses these keywords to suggest related pins, boards, and accounts to users. This feature is similar to how search engines use keywords to rank web pages.

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Visual Search Option

Another feature that makes Pinterest a search engine is its visual search option.

With Pinterest visual search, users can select a portion of an image on Pinterest, and the platform will generate similar results.

This feature uses Pinterest’s advanced image recognition technology to find content related to the selected image. You can even use this as a Pinterest video search tool.

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Content Lifetime

Pinterest content has a longer lifespan than traditional social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

This is because Pinterest is a search engine that prioritizes evergreen content that is relevant and useful to users over time.

Pinterest pins and boards can continue generating traffic and engagement long after posting.

Followers

One of the social elements of Pinterest is the concept of followers. Users can follow other users or boards that are relevant to their interests.

Users who follow a board will see new pins from that board in their home feed. When users follow another user, they will see new boards and pins from that user in their home feed.

This function is similar to how social media platforms like Instagram or Twitter allow users to follow other users.

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Messaging

Pinterest also has a messaging function that allows users to send direct messages to other users.

This function is similar to the messaging features on other social media platforms. However, this feature is not widely used on the platform, and many users do not even know it exists.

Comments and Interactions

One major element that might make you wonder is Pinterest social media is that users can leave comments on pins and boards, allowing interaction between users.

Comments can be used to provide feedback, ask questions, or start a conversation around a particular pin or board.

This function is similar to the commenting features on other social media platforms.

Pinterest Live

Pinterest Live is a relatively new feature that allows users to create and stream live videos.

This feature is similar to the live video features on other social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram.

However, Pinterest Live is still in its early stages, and it remains to be seen how popular it will become among users.

Why has Pinterest Become A Popular Platform?

Pinterest’s search capabilities are one of the primary reasons why it has become such a popular platform for marketers and businesses.

By using keywords and optimizing their content for Pinterest’s search algorithm, businesses can increase their visibility on the platform and attract new followers.

With its focus on evergreen content, businesses can create pins and boards that will continue generating traffic and engagement for months or even years after they are posted.

Pinterest’s visual search option is another feature that is particularly useful for businesses.

By uploading an image of their product or service, businesses can generate related pins and boards that their target audience may be interested in.

This can be a great way to attract new customers and drive traffic to their website or online store.

While Pinterest’s social elements may not be as robust as those on other platforms like Facebook or Instagram, they still offer opportunities for engagement and interaction.

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Businesses can use comments to respond to customer feedback and questions and use Pinterest Live to showcase their products or services in real-time.

By building a following on Pinterest, businesses can increase brand awareness and drive traffic to their website or online store.

In addition to its search and social features, Pinterest offers various business advertising options.

Promoted Pins allow businesses to promote their content to a targeted audience, while Shopping Ads allow them to showcase their products and services directly on the platform.

These advertising options can be highly effective for businesses looking to reach new customers and drive sales.

Pinterest is a unique platform offering a blend of search and social features, making it a powerful tool for marketers and businesses.

With its focus on evergreen content, visual search option, and advertising capabilities, businesses can use Pinterest to attract new customers and drive traffic to their website or online store.

As the platform continues to evolve, it will be exciting to see how businesses use it to reach their target audience and achieve their marketing goals.

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Photo by ian dooley on Unsplash

FINAL VERDICT: is Pinterest Social Media or Search Engine?

So, now that we know the difference between social media and search engines, and how Pinterest works – is Pinterest social media or is Pinterest a search engine?

Based on all the evidence, Pinterest would definitely be classified as a search engine.

It allows users to create and share content, engage with other users, and build a network of followers, all characteristic of social media platforms.

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But at the same time, it allows users to search for content by entering keywords or phrases and provides unique features to search engines.

If you as a business owner want to get your content in front of your dream audience, then you need to use the platform as a search engine, not a social media platform.

However, many still consider Pinterest to be a social media platform, and that’s okay too! Pinterest, it turns out, is hard to pin down!

Frequently Asked Questions

✅ Is Pinterest considered social media?

Yes and no. The truth is, Pinterest is a bit hard to define. Pinterest is considered both a social media platform AND a search engine. However, it definitely leans more towards being a search engine than social media – especially from a business perspective.

✅ How is Pinterest different from other social media?

Pinterest is different from other social media because it isn’t really social media. Pinterest is used more as a search engine and its algorith reflects this. While there are comments and ways to socialise with other users, this is not the main function as with other social media sites.

✅ Is Pinterest better than Google?

This depends on what you are using each search engine platform for. Google is typically better for research-based queries, while Pinterest is better for projects or ideas. However, from a business standpoint, it is worth investing time and effort into both platforms.

✅ What is Pinterest used for?

Pinterest is a visual search engine that can be used for inspiration, planning and ideas. It is particularly popular in certain niches, such as beauty, crafts, recipes, art and travel, although this is hardly an exhaustive list.


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