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Pinterest Active Users Continue to Slide as it Loses Growth Momentum Sparked by Lockdowns

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Pinterest Active Users Continue to Slide as it Loses Growth Momentum Sparked by Lockdowns

While eCommerce has seen a big rise in activity as a result of the pandemic, it seems that at least some aspects of online shopping are now returning to the mean, with Pinterest’s active user count dropping once again in Q4 2021, the app’s third consecutive quarter of declining user growth.

As you can see in this chart, Pinterest’s monthly active user count has fallen from 478 million at the start of 2021, to 431 million now, a decline of 47 million active users throughout the year.

That’s a significant drop, and while 431 million actives is still a lot, the fact that Pinterest has lost almost all of the growth momentum that it gained over the past two years (Pinterest hit 416m MAU in Q2 2020) is not a good reflection of any utility and/or value that users are seeing in the app, as it hasn’t been able to keep these people on as regular users, even as it continues to branch out into new regions.

Indeed, that’s been one of Pinterest’s key value propositions, that while it may not have as many users as other social apps, those that are regular Pinners find big value in the platform, with 90% of weekly active Pinners using the app to inform their purchase decisions. That still could be true for its most dedicated users, but if Pinterest isn’t carrying that value over to new audiences, as reflected in its retention and growth stats, that could suggest that it’s failing to capitalize on that potential, and win over a bigger market share for the many brands that are trying to reach their target buyers in the app.

And Pinterest has made a more concerted effort to win over more users, and capitalize on its growth momentum, as reflected in its ‘Sales and Marketing’ spend.

Pinterest Q4 2021

Pinterest knew that it would lose momentum as a result of physical stores re-opening, and COVID restrictions easing around the world, so it made a bigger push to maximize its opportunities through a new branding campaign, in the hopes of stimulating more interest.

Based on the user counts, that hasn’t been overly effective, which is a concerning sign for the app’s growth potential moving forward.

But then again, its revenue figures did improve on the back of increased interest from retail advertisers leading into the holiday period.

Pinterest Q4 2021

As you can see here, the platform brought in $847 million in total revenue for the quarter, with the majority coming from the US. Pinterest is, however, seeing more significant revenue growth momentum in international markets, another potentially good sign.

It’s also posted some solid revenue per user stats, which reflects rising advertiser interest in the app’s audience.

Pinterest Q4 2021

Generating more money per user, however, does essentially come down advertiser interest, and if Pinterest continues to lose growth momentum, it will struggle to maintain these gains over the coming year.

In terms of functional additions, Pinterest expanded its in-app shopping tools to 13 international markets in 2021 (Pinterest says user engagement with shopping surfaces in the app grew 20% YoY), while it also put a big focus on making it easier for merchants to upload their product catalogs, in order to list their products as shoppable Pins.

Streamlined onboarding is key to getting more products into its ecosystem, and with Pinterest also working to improve its search and discovery tools, this is a big element in building out its platform as a central eCommerce destination. Better matches and more options is what, ideally, will keep Pinners coming back, and if Pinterest can generate more sales results for the brands that are using its listings, that will keep things moving in the right direction, at least on this front.

Pinterest also notes that it’s seen significant user interest in its new Idea Pins – its take on Stories – and its Watch tab, which puts more emphasis on video content.

Pinterest Watch tab

Pinterest is also trying to build more incentive for Pin creators, with its own creator funding program, which will help to get more practical, valuable content into its ecosystem, and keep Pinners coming back. That seems like a harder road for Pinterest, given that it’s not focused on entertainment, as such. But it does also need its most popular creators to remain active, in order to give its users more Idea Pin and Watch tab content to check in on.

But there are some clear challenges ahead in building on its opportunities, and stemming the flow of users away from the app.

In some ways, the fluctuations of the past two years have been entirely unpredictable, so who can say for sure what impact each consumer shift and lockdown has had on overall behavior? But if Pinterest loses all of the growth that it gained, that’s a significant impact, especially given other social apps have continued to grow throughout the period.

Does that mean that Pinterest is losing attention, and user interest? Again, 430 million users is still a lot, but if Pinterest drops below 400m, a retraction on its pre-COVID levels, that would be a disastrous result.

Though Pinterest does also make this note, which is interesting:

“In addition, lower search traffic (driven by Google’s algorithm change in November) negatively impacted our MAUs on a year-over-year basis. In fact, we believe lower search traffic was the primary reason for the sequential decline in MAUs from Q3 to Q4 in both the US and international markets.”

That’s seemingly in reference to Google’s Core Update, launched in November, and could reflect concerns from some search marketers that Google now seems to be crawling less content, meaning that websites with a lot of updates lost some of their SEO advantage. It’s hard to say, however, what the full impacts on Pinterest have been – but it clearly believes that the update has negatively impacted Pin performance.

Which is also interesting when you consider that Pinterest and Google are both looking to capitalize on shopping searches, with Google regularly updating Google Images and its visual search tools along similar lines to Pinterest’s advances.

Could it be that Google’s punishing a potential competitor, or using its update as a reminder for Pinterest to stay in its lane and not push too hard on siphoning off search traffic?

It’s an interesting consideration either way, and it’ll also be interesting to note whether Pinterest gets less referral traffic from Google moving forward – and how that impacts its overall performance.


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12 Proven Methods to Make Money Blogging in 2024

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Make money blogging

 

Make money bloggingThis is a contributed article.

The world of blogging continues to thrive in 2024, offering a compelling avenue for creative minds to share their knowledge, build an audience, and even turn their passion into profit. Whether you’re a seasoned blogger or just starting, there are numerous effective strategies to monetize your blog and achieve financial success. Here, we delve into 12 proven methods to make money blogging in 2024:

1. Embrace Niche Expertise:

Standing out in the vast blogosphere requires focus. Carving a niche allows you to cater to a specific audience with targeted content. This not only builds a loyal following but also positions you as an authority in your chosen field. Whether it’s gardening techniques, travel hacking tips, or the intricacies of cryptocurrency, delve deep into a subject you’re passionate and knowledgeable about. Targeted audiences are more receptive to monetization efforts, making them ideal for success.

2. Content is King (and Queen):

High-quality content remains the cornerstone of any successful blog. In 2024, readers crave informative, engaging, and well-written content that solves their problems, answers their questions, or entertains them. Invest time in crafting valuable blog posts, articles, or videos that resonate with your target audience.

  • Focus on evergreen content: Create content that remains relevant for a long time, attracting consistent traffic and boosting your earning potential.
  • Incorporate multimedia: Spice up your content with captivating images, infographics, or even videos to enhance reader engagement and improve SEO.
  • Maintain consistency: Develop a regular publishing schedule to build anticipation and keep your audience coming back for more.

3. The Power of SEO:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ensures your blog ranks high in search engine results for relevant keywords. This increases organic traffic, the lifeblood of any monetization strategy.

  • Keyword research: Use keyword research tools to identify terms your target audience searches for. Strategically incorporate these keywords into your content naturally.
  • Technical SEO: Optimize your blog’s loading speed, mobile responsiveness, and overall technical aspects to improve search engine ranking.
  • Backlink building: Encourage other websites to link back to your content, boosting your blog’s authority in the eyes of search engines.

4. Monetization Magic: Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing allows you to earn commissions by promoting other companies’ products or services. When a reader clicks on your affiliate link and makes a purchase, you get a commission.

  • Choose relevant affiliates: Promote products or services that align with your niche and resonate with your audience.
  • Transparency is key: Disclose your affiliate relationships clearly to your readers and build trust.
  • Integrate strategically: Don’t just bombard readers with links. Weave affiliate promotions naturally into your content, highlighting the value proposition.

5. Display Advertising: A Classic Approach

Display advertising involves placing banner ads, text ads, or other visual elements on your blog. When a reader clicks on an ad, you earn revenue.

  • Choose reputable ad networks: Partner with established ad networks that offer competitive rates and relevant ads for your audience.
  • Strategic ad placement: Place ads thoughtfully, avoiding an overwhelming experience for readers.
  • Track your performance: Monitor ad clicks and conversions to measure the effectiveness of your ad placements and optimize for better results.

6. Offer Premium Content:

Providing exclusive, in-depth content behind a paywall can generate additional income. This could be premium blog posts, ebooks, online courses, or webinars.

  • Deliver exceptional value: Ensure your premium content offers significant value that justifies the price tag.
  • Multiple pricing options: Consider offering tiered subscription plans to cater to different audience needs and budgets.
  • Promote effectively: Highlight the benefits of your premium content and encourage readers to subscribe.

7. Coaching and Consulting:

Leverage your expertise by offering coaching or consulting services related to your niche. Readers who find your content valuable may be interested in personalized guidance.

  • Position yourself as an expert: Showcase your qualifications, experience, and client testimonials to build trust and establish your credibility.
  • Offer free consultations: Provide a limited free consultation to potential clients, allowing them to experience your expertise firsthand.
  • Develop clear packages: Outline different coaching or consulting packages with varying time commitments and pricing structures.

8. The Power of Community: Online Events and Webinars

Host online events or webinars related to your niche. These events offer valuable content while also providing an opportunity to promote other monetization avenues.

  • Interactive and engaging: Structure your online events to be interactive with polls, Q&A sessions, or live chats. Click here to learn more about image marketing with Q&A sessions and live chats.

9. Embrace the Power of Email Marketing:

Building an email list allows you to foster stronger relationships with your audience and promote your content and offerings directly.

  • Offer valuable incentives: Encourage readers to subscribe by offering exclusive content, discounts, or early access to new products.
  • Segmentation is key: Segment your email list based on reader interests to send targeted campaigns that resonate more effectively.
  • Regular communication: Maintain consistent communication with your subscribers through engaging newsletters or updates.

10. Sell Your Own Products:

Take your expertise to the next level by creating and selling your own products. This could be physical merchandise, digital downloads, or even printables related to your niche.

  • Identify audience needs: Develop products that address the specific needs and desires of your target audience.
  • High-quality offerings: Invest in creating high-quality products that offer exceptional value and user experience.
  • Utilize multiple platforms: Sell your products through your blog, online marketplaces, or even social media platforms.

11. Sponsorships and Brand Collaborations:

Partner with brands or businesses relevant to your niche for sponsored content or collaborations. This can be a lucrative way to leverage your audience and generate income.

  • Maintain editorial control: While working with sponsors, ensure you retain editorial control to maintain your blog’s authenticity and audience trust.
  • Disclosures are essential: Clearly disclose sponsored content to readers, upholding transparency and ethical practices.
  • Align with your niche: Partner with brands that complement your content and resonate with your audience.

12. Freelancing and Paid Writing Opportunities:

Your blog can serve as a springboard for freelance writing opportunities. Showcase your writing skills and expertise through your blog content, attracting potential clients.

  • Target relevant publications: Identify online publications, websites, or magazines related to your niche and pitch your writing services.
  • High-quality samples: Include high-quality blog posts from your site as writing samples when pitching to potential clients.
  • Develop strong writing skills: Continuously hone your writing skills and stay updated on current trends in your niche to deliver exceptional work.

Conclusion:

Building a successful blog that generates income requires dedication, strategic planning, and high-quality content. In today’s digital age, there are numerous opportunities to make money online through blogging. By utilizing a combination of methods such as affiliate marketing, sponsored content, and selling digital products or services, you can leverage your blog’s potential and achieve financial success.

Remember, consistency in posting, engaging with your audience, and staying adaptable to trends are key to thriving in the ever-evolving blogosphere. Embrace new strategies, refine your approaches, and always keep your readers at the forefront of your content creation journey. With dedication and the right approach, your blog has the potential to become a valuable source of income and a platform for sharing your knowledge and passion with the world, making money online while doing what you love.

Image Credit: DepositPhotos



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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

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Snapchat Explores New Messaging Retention Feature: A Game-Changer or Risky Move?

In a recent announcement, Snapchat revealed a groundbreaking update that challenges its traditional design ethos. The platform is experimenting with an option that allows users to defy the 24-hour auto-delete rule, a feature synonymous with Snapchat’s ephemeral messaging model.

The proposed change aims to introduce a “Never delete” option in messaging retention settings, aligning Snapchat more closely with conventional messaging apps. While this move may blur Snapchat’s distinctive selling point, Snap appears convinced of its necessity.

According to Snap, the decision stems from user feedback and a commitment to innovation based on user needs. The company aims to provide greater flexibility and control over conversations, catering to the preferences of its community.

Currently undergoing trials in select markets, the new feature empowers users to adjust retention settings on a conversation-by-conversation basis. Flexibility remains paramount, with participants able to modify settings within chats and receive in-chat notifications to ensure transparency.

Snapchat underscores that the default auto-delete feature will persist, reinforcing its design philosophy centered on ephemerality. However, with the app gaining traction as a primary messaging platform, the option offers users a means to preserve longer chat histories.

The update marks a pivotal moment for Snapchat, renowned for its disappearing message premise, especially popular among younger demographics. Retaining this focus has been pivotal to Snapchat’s identity, but the shift suggests a broader strategy aimed at diversifying its user base.

This strategy may appeal particularly to older demographics, potentially extending Snapchat’s relevance as users age. By emulating features of conventional messaging platforms, Snapchat seeks to enhance its appeal and broaden its reach.

Yet, the introduction of message retention poses questions about Snapchat’s uniqueness. While addressing user demands, the risk of diluting Snapchat’s distinctiveness looms large.

As Snapchat ventures into uncharted territory, the outcome of this experiment remains uncertain. Will message retention propel Snapchat to new heights, or will it compromise the platform’s uniqueness?

Only time will tell.

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

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Catering to specific audience boosts your business, says accountant turned coach

While it is tempting to try to appeal to a broad audience, the founder of alcohol-free coaching service Just the Tonic, Sandra Parker, believes the best thing you can do for your business is focus on your niche. Here’s how she did just that.

When running a business, reaching out to as many clients as possible can be tempting. But it also risks making your marketing “too generic,” warns Sandra Parker, the founder of Just The Tonic Coaching.

“From the very start of my business, I knew exactly who I could help and who I couldn’t,” Parker told My Biggest Lessons.

Parker struggled with alcohol dependence as a young professional. Today, her business targets high-achieving individuals who face challenges similar to those she had early in her career.

“I understand their frustrations, I understand their fears, and I understand their coping mechanisms and the stories they’re telling themselves,” Parker said. “Because of that, I’m able to market very effectively, to speak in a language that they understand, and am able to reach them.” 

“I believe that it’s really important that you know exactly who your customer or your client is, and you target them, and you resist the temptation to make your marketing too generic to try and reach everyone,” she explained.

“If you speak specifically to your target clients, you will reach them, and I believe that’s the way that you’re going to be more successful.

Watch the video for more of Sandra Parker’s biggest lessons.

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