Pinterest (NYSE: PINS) is a $40 billion image-sharing social media service designed to enable users to save information and images in the form of pinboards. The company’s stock has performed excellently over the last 12 months, quadrupling in value as of its recent all-time high.
More than 60% of millennials research their interests and products on the platform with the intent to buy, making Pinterest the perfect place for sellers to advertise. This is reflected in the figures, with 2020 full-year revenue growing 48% year-over-year (YoY) to $1.7 billion. The app is quickly gaining monthly active users, with 37% growth between 2019 and 2020. Pinterest and its advertising strategy are on their way to dominating the social media industry, and this growth has raised the eyebrows of companies in the space. Here are 3 of Pinterest’s biggest competitors in the social media space:
Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) is one of the largest tech companies in the world with a $900 billion market cap, yet still boasts impressively consistent revenue growth. The business had a strong start to 2021, with advertising revenue surging 46% YoY, total revenue rising 48% YoY, and net income almost doubling. You could say that the company is still acting as a growth-orientated business, with research and development expenditure increasing by 29%, meaning the business spent a massive $5.1 billion in just the first 3 months of this year.
Advertising accounts for the bulk of Facebook’s sales, like Pinterest. Across its various platforms, the company has 1.9 billion daily active users giving it a huge target audience. Q1 2021 saw the average price per ad grow 30% YoY with a 12% increase in the number of ads delivered. Even though advertising makes up for the vast majority of the company’s income, Facebook is attempting to diversify its income segments by expanding into what it calls ‘other revenue’. This includes developer fees, delivery of consumer hardware devices, and payment fees.
When Snap (NYSE: SNAP) went public in 2017, we saw hesitation from investors and doubt as to whether it could fend off Facebook’s Instagram. Snap had an underwhelming performance for a number of years until it gained traction in 2020.
The platform’s daily active users figures saw growth of 17% and 22% in 2019 and 2020, respectively. This figure has also grown 22% YoY in Q1 2021, with expectations of similar growth in Q2. Revenue has seen even better growth, rising by 104%, 43%, 45%, and 46% in 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020, respectively. Revenue grew 66% in Q1 2021 to $770 million with expectations of between 81% and 85% in Q2. These impressive figures are a direct result of Snap Ads’ growth, with the company focusing on improving ad measurement, more dynamic ad offerings, and customers’ advertisement Return On Investment (ROI).
This one might not seem like an obvious competitor, but Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL), the parent company of Google, and Pinterest are head-to-head as they both manage a form of visual search engine. The most impactful use case of Pinterest is when users search for a product and subsequently purchase that product through Pinterest, equating to revenue for the platform. Google has tried to tackle this by linking e-commerce sites to the Google Images search engine, creating the same phenomenon. Google has gone on to release Keen, a search engine that acts as “a way to share your passions” and allows users to curate boards based on interests.
Google has two important assets — cash, and data. These can be used to help build this replica of Pinterest which could end up being troublesome. Alphabet brought in $183 billion in revenue in 2020 and has a hugely diversified business model, with cloud services, analytics, YouTube, hardware, and Google Ads in its portfolio. This means that if some of its segments fail, it’s still got legs to stand on.
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Contributing Writer at MyWallSt
Adam loves innovative SaaS tech companies; in particular ones that give people the freedom to make money or start a side hustle, like Etsy, Fiverr and Shopify.