1 in 5 women using Pinterest? I don’t think so.

In case you missed it, Pew Internet released a report last week that included a few interesting stats. In particular, the one that jumped out at me was this: That 12 percent of all Americans are now using Pinterest. What’s more ONE IN FIVE U.S. women are using the popular platform.

So, 20 percent of ALL women in the U.S. are using Pinterest?

I don’t think so.

Let’s do some quick (and crude) math for a second.

We know there are a little more than 300 million adults in the U.S., right? (according to the U.S Census, at least)

80 percent of those adults are online–that’s 240 million adults (male and female) who are on the Web.

Now, with this report, Pew is saying 19 percent of those 240 million (close to 45 million) are using Pinterest.

45 million women. That’s more than FIVE TIMES the total population of NYC. It’s 12 TIMES the total population of Los Angeles.

And, it’s more than the total populations of the top 50 metropolitan markets in this country.

Still think the data is accurate? (keep in mind, as with many studies Pew puts out, this one only surveyed 1,000 Americans)

Here’s what I think. I think people are NUTS about Pinterest. I think there are a very plugged in majority of Americans who do use it (younger women, for sure)–but it’s nowhere near 45 million Americans. Maybe half that. At most (Disclaimer: This is just my gut guess, based on no survey data).

I think people are desperate to find more platforms, other than Twitter and Facebook, that are driving engagement and traffic online (think about the hype machine behind Google+ for a minute).

And even if the data is true, from a marketing perspective, so what? 1 in 5 American women are using Pinterest. Well, 4 out of 5 are using Facebook–as marketers, have you nailed down that platform yet? (judging from my research for a client recently, I’d say the answer is a resounding “no”).

What about LinkedIn? 175 million users there–and they’re constantly improving their platform.

Or, what about Instagram? 100 million users there. Heck, even Foursquare has 20 million users. Pinterest has just 11 million registered users.

What do you think? Do the Pinterest stats feel accurate to you? And, maybe more importantly, how big a piece should Pinterest be in organization’s marketing efforts right now? We’ve all see the traffic data, but sometimes I feel like there’s entirely too much focus being place on this platform right now (at least compared with the larger networks and a company blog).

Your thoughts?

7 comments
lawyer
lawyer

Really great post and i will definitely visit through given link.

JasonFalls
JasonFalls

Well, let me add some gravity to the numbers a bit. The Social Habit (which I'm involved with and which is publishing it's newest round of research next month) surveys 3,000 Americans 12 and up. Better sample size and one weighed to be a representative sample. I'm showing 28.2 percent of women surveyed have a profile and 78% of those have used it in the last week. So there may be some validity there. The numbers are matching up. Granted, there are all sorts of factors to check, etc., but we're quite confident in our methodology and approach. More to come. (socialhabit.com for those interested). 

AmberCollett
AmberCollett

@arikhanson Agreed--those numbers seem way too high. #pinterest

CourtneyGHuber
CourtneyGHuber

As a woman who has a Pinterest account - I would say it seemed cool at first, but I haven't touched it since I signed up. I just don't see the value in pinning sites. I know it sounds cold, but I find myself wondering 'who cares about what I pin' and 'who cares what others pin'? Building up a friend "cache" there also just seems like one more bit of work and effort that I don't want to allocate time for... Guess it comes down to me not seeing the reward for doing so. <shrug> If I were promoting a business and using Pinterest for that - I'd probably feel differently.

jasonkeath
jasonkeath

I think the numbers are a little inflated as well, but keep in mind they are not saying of "all US people." They are saying US online adults. So take the online population of the US, and then take out all those under the age of 12 (12 and up is how I have seen the "US adult" defined in the past by companies like Edison).

arikhanson
arikhanson moderator

 @jasonkeath That may change the numbers a bit. I did do some of that math above--came up with 45 million. Well above the 12 million registered users they have. Am I off?