While the social network isn’t doing away with its direct-sale initiative, it is focusing its attention on ads that drive consumers to retailers’ sites.
Pinterest’s traffic grew more than 52% in one month.
More than 17.8 million consumers visited fledgling social network Pinterest in February, a 52.1% jump from 11.7 million visitors in January and a 137.3% gain from 7.5 million visitors in December, according to web measurement firm comScore Inc.
The boost to traffic made Pinterest.com the third-fastest growing site in the United States (behind health news site Healthline and IRS.gov), and pushed it into comScore’s list of the top 100 most trafficked sites in the United States for the first time. Other social networks in the top 100 include Google+ (traffic to all Google sites, such as Gmail, Google Docs and Google+ is aggregated together in comScore’s rankings), which is No. 1 on comScore’s list, Facebook (No. 4), Twitter (No. 25), LinkedIn (No.27) and MySpace (No. 42).
Pinterest, which was launched less than two years ago by Cold Brew Labs Inc., enables users to ‘Pin’ things on the web that they like, such as a recipe or particular piece of jewelry. Those Pins are then gathered together on the user’s Board, which she can organize and share with friends. Consumers can follow other shoppers on the social network, which enables them to see each others’ Boards; that also can help consumers discover brands or products.
Part of the success of Pinterest is that it fosters discovery—particularly if a consumer is interested in a product that has any number of variations, like an engagement ring, says Brian Kalma, chief experience officer at custom jewelry retailer Gemvara.com. Gemvara launched its Pinterest presence, which features Boards showcasing its customized products, on the social network about seven months ago. That sense of discovery helps explain why consumers in December spent, on average, 80 minutes per session on the social network, according to a comScore report released last month.
Gemvara is No. 605 in the Second 500 Guide.
Kalma will speak this June at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition 2012 in Chicago in a session titled "Interest in Pinterest: How the social site drives retail traffic." The IRCE $200 early-bird discount expires March 31.