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PINTEREST

Head of content Aya Kanoi on keeping Pinterest ‘the last positive corner of the internet’

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In September, Aya Kanoi joined Pinterest as the platform’s head of content and creator partnerships. She has just been appointed Marie Claire’s editor-in-chief nine months prior, but the jump from fashion publishing to a social platform had become a pattern in the years prior. Eva Chen went from heading up Lucky magazine to Instagram to be director of fashion partnerships in 2015. Derek Blasberg, a longtime contributing editor to publications including Vanity Fair, joined YouTube as head of the fashion and beauty partnerships division in 2018. 

“There was this opportunity to build a creator ecosystem that was founded on the principles of ensuring a positive and safe environment,” Kanai told Glossy. “These things are aspects that truly get discussed and brought in and invested in every single day [at Pinterest].”

A big step of that build debuted earlier this month, when Pinterest introduced its Creator Code content policy to press. Immediately following the announcement, Kanoi detailed the aim to keep the platform as “the last positive corner of the internet,” including its policing of troll-like behavior, misinformation and the “compare-and-despair” talk that’s infiltrated fashion. 

What goes into policing Pinterest content?

Now, when a creator goes to create content on Pinterest for the first time, they are required to sign the Creator Code. [In it] we’re sharing the key tenants of what it means to share in a constructive, creative and positive way. Being positive does not mean being saccharine. It does not mean avoiding hard conversations. It just means that you are taking a look at yourself when you’re posting your content and asking yourself: “What kind of person am I bringing to the table here, and who am I offering this content to?” There are so many channels that we all need to be on when we’re working in the digital content creation space, so we just want to make sure people understand that, when they’re on Pinterest, there is real clarity as to what we believe in. There’s also a human review [step for posts] — that is how seriously we take this. 

Tell me about that human review process.

Pinterest has over 460 million monthly active users, so there are hundreds of billions of pins and billions of boards. We’re using human review to make sure that each piece of content fits our trust and safety guidelines. We want people to be as creative and imaginative as they can be on our platform. That said, platforms don’t stay positive and safe without a real agreement between the team and the leadership to build those tools into place. Some of the [reviewers] are in-house, some are out-of-house — there are a lot of people. But It’s an investment we believe is important and something that’s totally worth it.

Are comments being reviewed, too?

Naturally, comments are a really important creator engagement tool and how that conversation gets going. But creators — or the people who are initiating the content — are now able to opt out of them. Similar to what you see on other platforms, comments allow like pinners to keep track of ideas and save them onto other boards and, of course, give their own feedback if they’ve tried that recipe or if they tried that beauty trick. But we really want to make sure that we’re empowering the creator to regulate what kind of feedback they want.

Is there concern that this will impact engagement?

The audience size on Pinterest is very robust. We’re in a stage in our growth of ecosystem where building a place that is safe is the single most important thing. Maintaining Pinterest as the last positive corner of the internet really, truly matters, up to the highest echelons of our co-founders. And so, if the tools and the things that we’re building along that path have an impact, or if certain types of creators choose to not join our platform, that’s absolutely fine. We’re OK with that. Pinterest is a 10-year-old platform. We’re making sure that the content is really valuable and curated — and that anytime users open our app, they know that they’re going to have a positive and safe experience.

What’s the Pinterest definition of “triggering” content, which is blacklisted in the Creator Code?

Anything about bodies, weight loss. The triggers of any person are different. And so, [it’s about] understanding who’s going to see it, your audience. Body dysmorphia is the one that we talk about the most, because there’s a lot of content like that online, in terms of those old headlines that people used to do, like, “How to lose 10 pounds in two days,” and things like that which don’t make sense. Content like that is triggering. And then, of course, Pinterest is a visual search engine. So images that represent content like that can be triggering.

Is fashion more at-risk for negative banter on platforms than other categories?

For better or for worse, I think that triggering content can come into any category. But over 97% of the top searches on Pinterest are not branded. So what that means [for fashion] is that people using Pinterest are at that discovery phase of their search journey. They’re not coming on Pinterest to say, “best Louis Vuitton black boots.” They’re just saying, “best black boots.” “Show me what the cool black boots are.” They want to make a purchase, and they just want to get inspired by what is out there. Our fashion and beauty creators are sometimes talking about brands — like the brands they use in their own personal life — but they aren’t going down that compare-and-despair road of: “This is better than this.” It’s more like: “Here are the styling tips and the beauty tips that worked for me.”

Is being kid-friendly, to get young generations using the platform early, part of the strategy?

We have a lot of parents on Pinterest — we reach 80% of U.S. moms. But our two fastest-growing cohorts are Gen Z and men. Both of those [user] cohorts went up over 40% in 2020. Our user base is changing a lot, and it’s a wonderful thing to see it diversifying. I hope that those parents and caregivers of young people, Gen Z, feel that, when they look at Pinterest versus other platforms, they’d be happy for young people to use our tools for school projects and to find inspiration for their classwork. Pinterest is also a great tool for [pinpointing] what they like, as they’re developing their own tastes. And it doesn’t lead you down a lot of the negative places that we see elsewhere.

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PINTEREST

Better Buy: Facebook vs. Pinterest

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These two social media companies are competing for ad dollars.

According to eMarketer, 81% of internet users worldwide use social media each month. Notably, that figure is up from 78% in 2019 as a result of pandemic-driven digitization.

Not surprisingly, that trend has been a tailwind for social giants like Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and challengers like Pinterest (NYSE:PINS). And given the enormity of the digital ad market, both of these tech companies should continue to grow in the years ahead.

But which stock is the better buy?

What we know about Facebook

Facebook operates several social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp. It generates the vast majority of its revenue through the sale of ad space across those platforms, as well as on third-party apps and websites.

A group of young people interacting with smartphones, while various icons (i.e. camera, email, shopping cart) are displayed above their heads.

Image source: Getty Images.

Last year, as the pandemic drove people online, growth in monthly active people (MAP) accelerated. At the same time, 79% of MAP were also daily active people (DAP), up from 78% in 2019 and 77% in 2018. This indicates an uptick in engagement over time.

In the first quarter of 2021, 3.45 billion people used one of Facebook’s platforms on a monthly basis. Notably, the pandemic-driven increases in engagement continued to hold, as 79% of monthly users also signed in daily. And the average revenue per person (ARPP) increased 29% to $7.75 for the quarter.

In total, revenue jumped 48% year over year in Q1, driven by a 12% increase in the number of ads delivered and a 30% increase in the price per ad. That represents a meaningful acceleration in top-line growth compared to the company’s performance in recent years.

Metric

2018

Q1 2021 (TTM)

CAGR

Monthly Active People

2.64 billion

3.45 billion

13%

Revenue

$55.84 billion

$94.4 billion

26%

Free Cash Flow

$15.4 billion

$24.2 billion

22%

Data source: Facebook SEC filings. TTM = trailing-12-months. CAGR = compound annual growth rate.

While Facebook’s growth has been solid, investors should note that revenue has increased more quickly than free cash flow. This reflects Facebook’s weakening operating margin, which has fallen from 45% to 40% over that period.

Even so, Facebook is the leading social media platform worldwide. Over 2.7 billion people use at least one of its products every day — that’s roughly one-third of the globe’s population. That incredible scale has helped it capture 25% of the U.S. digital ad market. Only Alphabet‘s Google has taken more market share.

Going forward, if Facebook can avoid legal trouble, I think it still has room to grow.

What we know about Pinterest

Pinterest takes a different approach to social media. Rather than connecting friends and family, it’s a tool for inspiration, planning, and action. Pinterest has also gone to great lengths to build a positive environment for its users. Most social platforms can’t make the same claim.

Smiling woman interacting with smartphone.

Image source: Getty Images.

Pinterest’s growth strategy has focused on bringing more inspiring and shoppable content to its platform. For instance, it doubled down on video in 2020, enabling brands to engage consumers with dynamic stories and tutorials. Pinterest also made it possible to switch to shop mode from search, and it introduced the verified merchant program, helping consumers identify trusted sellers. In both cases, this simplifies the transition from inspiration to action, increasing value for consumers.

Those efforts also drove record growth in 2020: Pinterest added over 100 million monthly active users, and during Q4 it saw a sixfold increase in the number of businesses using shopping ads on its platform. That boosted average revenue per user (ARPU) to $4.26, up 12% from the prior year. Notably, Facebook’s ARPP was $32.03 in 2020, more than seven times higher than Pinterest’s.

In general, Pinterest has delivered solid financial results over the last few years.

Metric

2018

Q1 2021 (TTM)

CAGR

Monthly Active Users

265 million

478 million

30%

Revenue

$755.9 million

$1.9 billion

51%

Free Cash Flow

($82.6 million)

$230.4 million

N/A

Data source: Pinterest SEC filings. TTM = trailing-12-months. CAGR = compound annual growth rate.

As a caveat, investors should be encouraged by the company’s strong performance in 2020, but they should also expect growth to slow in 2021. As the pandemic abates, people will probably spend less time online.

Even so, Pinterest has plenty of room to grow its business, especially in international markets. Given its execution so far, I think the future looks bright for this social media company.

The verdict

Facebook has achieved incredible scale, dwarfing Pinterest. It’s also much more profitable in terms of absolute dollars. That makes Facebook a formidable competitor.

However, Pinterest has also managed to differentiate itself. Its platform is often a safer environment for brands, since ads are less likely to appear beside hateful content. Additionally, people come to Pinterest looking for inspiration — in other words, they come to Pinterest with the intent to shop. That makes it a better place for marketers to spend ad dollars.

Finally, Pinterest is growing more quickly and its ARPU is several times smaller than Facebook’s ARPP. That means Pinterest has plenty of room to expand, which should create more upside for long-term investors. That’s why Pinterest is the better buy.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis — even one of our own — helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.

Trevor Jennewine owns shares of Pinterest. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Alphabet (A shares), Alphabet (C shares), Facebook, and Pinterest. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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PINTEREST

The World’s Most Popular Wedding Destinations, According To Pinterest

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Blue coloured medina in Chefchaouen, Morocco.

According to Pinterest, Morocco is the number one place users want to plan a destination wedding.

getty

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Pinterest has been there to help us travel the world vicariously, find inspiration and share tips for visiting places that might otherwise be off limits to visitors. Now, as more people around the world are vaccinated and travel begins to make its inevitable comeback, the popular social media site is once again serving as a place to organize ideas for dream trips including epic honeymoons and destination weddings in beautiful places the world over.

A recent study by Money.co.uk, a financial site based in the U.K., revealed the most commonly “pinned” wedding destinations around the world and in the U.S. that people have created Pinterest boards for.

Here are the results for the most popular wedding destinations around the world, by country, according to Pinterest users:

1. Morocco, with 1,001 dedicated Pinterest boards.

2. Greece, with 1,000 dedicated Pinterest boards.

3. France, with 999 dedicated Pinterest boards.

4. Italy, with 998 dedicated Pinterest boards.

5. Mexico, with 997 dedicated Pinterest boards.

6. Bali, with 996 dedicated Pinterest boards.

7. Ireland, with 990 dedicated Pinterest boards.

8. Australia, with 984 dedicated Pinterest boards.

9. New Zealand, with 981 dedicated Pinterest boards.

10. Fiji, with 979 dedicated Pinterest boards.

11. Canada, with 978 dedicated Pinterest boards.

12. England, with 977 dedicated Pinterest boards.

13. Ibiza, Spain, with 975 dedicated Pinterest boards.

14. Scotland, with 972 dedicated Pinterest boards.

15. Thailand, with 960 dedicated Pinterest boards.

16. Spain, with 956 dedicated Pinterest boards.

17. Portugal, with 889 dedicated Pinterest boards.

18. USA, with 821 dedicated Pinterest boards.

19. The Bahamas, with 732 dedicated Pinterest boards.

20. Wales, with 725 dedicated Pinterest boards.

Here’s a look at the results for the most popular wedding destinations in the U.S., according to Pinterest users:

1. California, with 1,003 dedicated Pinterest boards.

2. Colorado, with 1,000 dedicated Pinterest boards.

3. Florida, with 1,000 dedicated Pinterest boards.

4. Hawaii, with 1,000 dedicated Pinterest boards.

5. Virginia, with 998 dedicated Pinterest boards.

6. New York, with 997 dedicated Pinterest boards.

7. Texas, with 996 dedicated Pinterest boards.

8. Georgia, with 994 dedicated Pinterest boards.

9. Washington, with 993 dedicated Pinterest boards.

10. Arizona, with 988 dedicated Pinterest boards.

11. Maine, with 985 dedicated Pinterest boards.

12. Oregon, with 981 dedicated Pinterest boards.

13. Utah, with 978 dedicated Pinterest boards.

14. Montana, 977 dedicated Pinterest boards.

15. Maryland, with 976 dedicated Pinterest boards.

16. Ohio, with 973 dedicated Pinterest boards.

17. Tennessee, with 968 dedicated Pinterest boards.

18. Minnesota, with 949 dedicated Pinterest boards.

19. North Carolina, with 943 dedicated Pinterest boards.

20. Michigan, with 938 dedicated Pinterest boards.

To get the results, the folks at Money.co.uk counted the number of public Pinterest boards associated with several keywords related to weddings and popular U.S. and international destinations. Pinterest users created boards for locales ranging from tropical islands and beaches to bustling cities as well as a blend of coastal and landlocked states, while Colorado, Florida and Hawaii tied with 1,000 boards, respecively. The study also focused on current trends, with Harry Potter, vintage, earthy, natural and farm themed weddings taking the top five spots for themed weddings, as well as popular wedding dress styles and bridal bouquets.

If you’re planning a destination wedding, pay attention to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) travel guidelines—as of this writing, all international travelers need to provide negative Covid-19 test results before they’re allowed to re-enter the U.S., whether or not you’re fully vaccinated—and stay on top of local health and safety protocols regarding mask-wearing and social distancing wherever you go.

All details and policies mentioned were accurate as of press time.

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PINTEREST

Pinterest launches ‘You might just surprise yourself’ campaign

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Pinterest has partnered with creative agency, Droga5 to launch its latest campaign ‘You might just surprise yourself’, exploring how the platform can expand people’s interests in ways they never saw coming.

To kick things off, Pinterest has released a TV ad in the UK, managed by agency Media Hub. The integrated campaign will run across the US and UK including high impact out-of-home, along with audio, podcast, and provocative social ads.

Directed by Yann Demange, the campaign’s hero film ‘Discovery’ – filmed in Mexico City and Los Angeles – takes the audience on a fast-paced journey of exploration focusing on one woman’s discovery before branching out into an unbroken, energetic thread of other characters’ experiences. 

A series of 15 films take this premise further, exploring the surprising leaps and ways people can expand their interests. These include a home chef discovering the fusion of burgers and sushi and a teenager trying his hand at flame nail art.

To expand the campaign across all media channels, high-impact mural out-of-home installations have been commissioned in London, New York, Chicago, and LA, along with high-impact media placements and unique brand partnerships to reintroduce the brand and spark inspiration in new ways. 

Pinterest has formed its first ever partnership with CRWNMAG, a hair and lifestyle culture magazine for Black women and NTWRK, a mobile-first video shopping platform that seamlessly blends entertainment and commerce.

“People need a place to dream, to explore and to visualize their future. Pinterest is the open invitation to try something you’d never thought you’d try. Our campaign demonstrates that Pinterest is a place where you can find a never-ending array of surprises – a place where the more you explore, the more you discover,” said Director of Marketing for Europe at Pinterest, Louise Richardson. “We want to bring people the inspiration to create a life they love and often that means inspiring you to try something new and giving you the confidence to try more, whether you succeed and it’s beautiful or you fail and it’s hilarious.”

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