Pinterest vs. Instagram

As platforms for sharing and viewing content, both Pinterest and Instagram have a large following and a wide userbase. Whether you’re looking to share and build an audience or you want the right platform for both information and entertainment, the choice can be tricky. Today, we’ll take you through a quick yet insightful take on each platform and see which one suits you better.

The similarities

If you’ve tried using both platforms, you’ll see that both Instagram and Pinterest run on the same basic principle. The idea is to have registered users who can upload and share content or view and comment on other people’s content. This system creates a network of interactions where you stay entertained, informed, interested, motivated, etc. (hence the term social network).

Both platforms host a wide range of bloggers and celebrities who 'influence' their followers through the content they share. So, they're both mediums of conducting business for those who have the will and skill.

However, common similarities aside, there are many aspects where each platform differs from the other.

The core differences

Volume of users

The first and obvious difference between the two is in the volume of traffic and users. Instagram is the clear leader between the two, with more than a billion users as of now. Pinterest, while no push-over at over 450 million, has less than half the volume of Instagram.

So, if you run a business that targets a national or global audience, making it big on Instagram is tougher but possibly more rewarding. On the other hand, Pinterest may offer more dedicated communities around a single topic or content. So, a mom who wants gute Geburtstagsgeschenke für 3 Jahre altes Mädchen may get more ideas on Pinterest, while a business trying to market its latest tech may fare better with an Instagram page.

The difference in engaging content

There’s also a clear difference in what creates more engagement on each platform. So, users on Pinterest may prefer it while looking for DIY tips and ideas. That’s because users who share that kind of content also leans towards that DIY element. On Instagram, however, the engagement centers more around pages or personalities whose lifestyle or products grab your attention.

For instance, a post about a nice homemade dish with the step-by-step recipe and pictures would potentially create more engagement on Pinterest. Whereas on Instagram, a celebrity sharing a picture of their breakfast with no context would get more likes and shares than your grandma's secret pasta recipe.

Nature of Audience

Another significant difference between the two platforms is the audience.

For Instagram, the large volume comes with a wide variety of users. So, celebrities and athletes who have the biggest followings on Instagram may not even have a Pinterest account. With over a billion users currently, it’s almost impossible to tie a tag around Instagram users or categorize them in one group.

On the other hand, Pinterest has a clear audience that makes up the primary volume of users. More than 80% of the users are women, and it's a trend that's continued for the whole of the last decade. So, you'll find that the best performing posts on Pinterest are generally on creative ideas, design tips, style inspirations, or how-to recipes.

Hashtags and Links

If you're looking to create/build a business or performing a search, hashtags, and links matter a lot on any social media. And each of these elements works a bit differently on both Instagram and Pinterest.

On Instagram, the only effective ways of sharing links are through paid options of advertising or garnering at least 10,000 followers. This makes it a more exclusive and commercial form of link sharing compared to Pinterest.

Pinterest has a more inclusive and convenient way of sharing links. The platform puts a better priority on sharing links. So, posts that have legitimate links can perform well if seen by the right followers. So, if you plan to generate traffic for your blog or website, Pinterest may be the better alternative here.

Hashtags are a big part of the interactions on Instagram. Whether it’s a popular campaign, a rising trend, or simply a celebrity doing something, hashtags can build in mere minutes. So, leveraging the right hashtags is not just easier on Instagram; it's more profitable too. Pinterest also supports hashtags but not as prominently as on Instagram. They may serve as tags that retrieve search results if placed correctly by the sharer. Other than that, they don’t have as much dominance as they do on Instagram or similar platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

The Bottom line

There's no doubt that Pinterest and Instagram share similarities and are each better in specific instances. As a consumer or a business, perhaps the ideal choice would be to use each according to its strengths. After all, there's no imposing rule that says you can't use both.