Not long after Mark Zuckerberg’s brainchild lit up the Internet in 2004, Palo Alto produced yet another prodigy. Ben Silbermann, the CEO of Pinterest, took to a more image-heavy interface with his starry-eyed startup that launched six years later. After rocking the paradigm with his immaculately simple site, Silbermann’s audience is currently numbered at 17.8 million to Facebook’s almost 600 million. Given these numbers, Pinterest’s disproportionately large amount of visits, clicks, and growth is starting to even the playing field. So who will win this titanic bout, and does there even have to be a lone victor? Ringside social media buffs should consider the following insights about the two social media stars to answer these questions for themselves.
Pinterest integrates a simple, elegant aesthetic with even smoother functioning to attract its largely female audience, which has already multiplied more than 50 times since 2010. In a sentence, the site is an invite-only marketplace of pictures that allows members to “pin” their favorite images to thematic “boards” that they set up. This has stunning applications for models, cake decorators, fashion designers, and all other entities that promote visually appealing products. Knowing this, Pinterest has even allowed businesses to post prices on images. As a result, marketing authorities like Marketing on Pinterest are reporting that more than half of their traffic comes from Pinterest.
The Defending Champ
Despite his smug depiction in The Social Network, Mark Zuckerberg’s brilliance was obviously not hindered by arrogance. Facebook allows its more than half a billion users to connect with each other through posts, photographs, messages, games, and the list goes on. On average, half of Facebook’s users log on every day. An almost depressing 28 percent of those aged between eighteen and 34 check Facebook before they even get out of bed. Digital Buzz offers reams of similar jaw-dropping statistics about the “Ivan Drago” of social media. Like Pinterest, Facebook appeals to businesses, self-promoters, and causes that need profiles to describe their qualities and vision.
Who Will Win?
While Facebook currently has the numbers game cornered, the two social media sensations are too dynamic to be compared linearly. Both sites serve demographics that may have a Pinterest as well as a Facebook page. Facebook is better for entities that need to verbalize their image and reach maximum exposure. The growing ubiquity of Facebook fan pages, however, is a blessing to gifted PR and marketing specialists and a curse to unprepared businesses. Pinterest has less clutter, less privacy violation suits, and a higher ratio of site visits to clicks. Pinterest users can better maintain their anonymity, while Facebook users are prompted to enter personal information. To avoid the annoying indie movie cliffhanger or the spineless “they both win” compromise, it can be extrapolated from the data that Facebook will most likely win in terms of sheer amount of users but Pinterest will funnel more traffic for website owners.