Pinterest is for way more than just cupcakes and wedding photos.
Right now, the social network controls 23 percent of referral traffic to e-commerce sites. With the promise of paid advertising on the horizon, Pinterest seems like it's in a good spot to actually justify its $3.8 billion valuation.
RJMetrics, a business intelligence software company, looked at the dataset of 50,000 random Pinterest users and their pins to take a look at user engagement and what it could mean for the future of Pinterest.
Although Pinterest hasn't released numbers, the common wisdom has always been that there are more women on Pinterest than men. RJMetrics data confirmed this: 80 percent of Pinterest users are female and 20 percent are male.
*A note on the data: Pinterest doesn’t share gender data publicly, but they do share users' names. About 75 percent of users supply a name that maps to a name as recognized by the US Census Bureau. We mapped name data to census data to arrive at gender.
Not only that, but women Pinterest users are far more active on the site than men. 92 percent of all pins are made by women.
Turns out, the percentage of pins made by men has been consistently declining since July of 2011, the first month for which RJMetrics had reliable data.
Does this mean trouble for Pinterest? Not really. 85 percent of consumer purchasing decisions are made by women. Right now, Pinterest drives more social media referral traffic to websites—in many cases, e-commerce sites—than Twitter and Reddit combined.
Here are the most popular pinning categories for women. The only categories where men pinned more than women were design, art, architecture, photography, and men's fashion.
Every pin on Pinterest links to a website. Many link to user-generated content sites like Tumblr or Flickr, but Pinterest also stores rich pins containing product data. Here are the sites with the most repins:
Clearly, Etsy is killing it, but the on-site Pin It button only accounts for 8 percent of total pins. 67 percent come from the Pinterest bookmarklet. Pinterest users are particularly proactive when browsing brands that align with their aspirations.
Surprisingly, the number one board on all of Pinterest is run by Lowes and has 3.4 million.
RJMetrics also took a look at when pinners were most active. As you can see, Pinterest usage increases steadily throughout the day.
32 percent of all pinning happens 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the core part of the work day, while 18 percent happens between 9 p.m. and midnight. This is interesting when compared to other social networks: Facebook traffic and Twitter activity fall more steadily after 3 pm.
This chart is crucial: 84 percent of women using Pinterest are still pinning in their fourth year. That's crazy-good retention.
Even better for Pinterest: Women who use the service get more active over time. While the average female user posts 42 pins in year 1, by year 4 she is up to 152!