Bad news coming from Pinterest as they have reported that over Q2 there has been a dramatic decline in overall users despite 11 quarters of consecutive growth. The amount of users is key here as Pinterest lost 24 million users over the past three months, with US users dropping 5% year-on-year.
Pinterest has commented and has largely put this down to the global vaccine roll-out, and the re-opening of physical stores, which has impacted adoption of eCommerce and online browsing. Pinterest stated that:
“Fewer MAUs came to Pinterest during Q2 than we expected. The primary driver of slower year over year MAU growth globally, and year over year MAU declines in the US, was the widespread easing of pandemic restrictions. As lockdowns lifted, people spent less time at home in Q2 2021 vs. Q2 2020. Given that many of Pinterest’s core use cases (e.g., decor, garden, cooking, DIY) are especially relevant at home, we believe we disproportionately benefited from increased time spent at home during pandemic lockdowns.”
The long and the short of it is last year’s results were an anomaly due to the pandemic, something I am sure a lot of businesses can relate to. Essentially this means that these numbers will inevitably look bad in comparison to normal times. On balance, 454 million overall users is respectable, in terms of the platform’s longer-term growth trajectory. The problem is adding 62 million more users over the past year was not sustainable, which amplifies the losses.
The specific impacts of the retail re-opening are also underlined in Pinterest’s notes, with the platform explaining that the biggest effect on its usage numbers was due to fewer people logging into the platform via the web. Pinterest also says that web-based Pinterest users were ‘less engaged and generating less revenue’ than users who use the mobile app.
However fear not as all is not lost Pinterest notes that both shopping and search engagement, overall, remain solid, so people are still discovering new products and brands, and buying through the app. Pinterest will not be the only company reflecting on less than favourable figures off the back of the pandemic but it is all about coming out the other side stronger which I am sure will be the case with Pinterest.