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Pinterest Adds 26 Million More Users, Sees Revenue Jump in Q3

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With eCommerce on the rise amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Pinterest has continued to add users, and boost revenue, as reflected in its Q3 2020 performance update.

First off, on users – Pinterest added 26 million more actives in Q3, taking it to a new high of 442 million MAU.

Pinterest Q3 2020

As you can see here, that’s a slight slowdown in user growth momentum, but the platform’s year over year growth rate is still better than the same at Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter.

As noted, Pinterest has seen significant benefit from users looking to replicate the in-store shopping experience as best they can online, with the platform functioning as a sort of virtual shopping mall of artisan products.

As explained by Pinterest:

“MAU growth was strong in both the US and international markets, driven primarily by COVID lockdowns in many regions. Particular strength came from users under the age of 25, a trend that we’ve seen for several quarters. People who began using Pinterest during COVID-19 continued to have high levels of engagement in Q3. In fact, users in the COVID-19 cohort had higher retention and higher engagement (defined as impressions, closeups and saves) than a cohort of new users during the same period last year.”

That’s a good result for the platform, but how sustainable that growth is, after the lockdowns are lifted, will be a question. 

For its part, Pinterest has warned that the US Election could slow down user growth, while the impacts of the lockdowns are relative:

“We’ve learned more about the users who began using Pinterest during the COVID-19 period. First, their engagement tends to increase when lockdown orders are in effect and wane when the orders are lifted. Second, they typically come to Pinterest for a specific purpose (e.g., building a home office) rather than for general inspiration.”

That could mean that as we move beyond the pandemic, Pinterest will see a period of stagnant usage growth, but it’s too early to predict with any accuracy as yet.

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On the revenue side, Pinterest had a particularly strong quarter, up  58% year over year.

Pinterest Q3 2020

The platform says that it saw a resurgence in ad demand from large brand advertisers in the period, along with an ‘acceleration of strong demand from mid-sized and small advertisers seeking conversions’.

“During Q3, revenue from both conversion optimization (oCPM) and shopping ads continued to grow much faster than our overall revenue. Pinterest also continued to provide a positive platform for businesses to build their brands and drive sales.”

That last point is particularly interesting, as is this addition: 

“Spend from the group of advertisers boycotting social media accelerated in Q3, though it’s not yet clear how sustainable this trend will be, particularly after the U.S. presidential election cycle ends.”

With Facebook advertisers pausing ad spend in July in protest over the platform’s lack of action on hate speech, many, apparently, switched that spend to Pinterest instead, likely as an experiment to see what type of results the platform can provide. Their ongoing spend, then, will relate to the results they saw, which is why Pinterest is hesitant to predict that they’ll stick around, as comparable response rates may be better on Facebook.

A more solid indicator is Pinterest’s growth in international markets, where it saw a good jump in ARPU.

Pinterest Q3 2020

As noted, the US rate may be more variable, and will likely come back down in future reports (maybe not Q4, but as lockdowns are further lifted across the world). But the international ARPU numbers are promising, showing new opportunities for the platform.

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“Investments to build out our international ads business have also continued to diversify our advertiser base, particularly in Western Europe, where we hired sales teams in the fall of 2019. The diversification of our advertiser base driven by technology and sales investment matters because it improves our ability to serve contextually relevant ads against growing search engagement.”

If Pinterest can replicate anywhere near the same as its US performance in other regions, that could give it a big boost.

And worth noting, Pinterest’s US ARPU ($3.85) is higher than Snapchat’s ($3.40), with similar International figures. That suggests that both have significant opportunity to maximize their earnings yet, with Pinterest possibly holding even more potential value in this respect.

Overall, it’s another good result for Pinterest, but the company is being very cautious in pinning too much expectation for future growth on figures likely driven by people having more time to search during the pandemic. That could suggest that Pinterest will see a dip in future, but its advancing tools, and especially its in-stream shopping options, could help it maintain its audience, and continue to grow.

Socialmediatoday.com

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Meta Publishes New Guide to the Various Security and Control Options in its Apps

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Meta Publishes New Guide to the Various Security and Control Options in its Apps


Meta has published a new set of safety tips for journalists to help them protect themselves in the evolving online connection space, which, for the most part, also apply to all users more broadly, providing a comprehensive overview of the various tools and processes that it has in place to help people avoid unwanted attention online.

The 32-page guide is available in 21 different languages, and provides detailed overviews of Meta’s systems and profile options for protection and security, with specific sections covering Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp.

The guide begins with the basics, including password protections and enabling two-factor authentication.

It also outlines tips for Page managers in securing their business profiles, while there are also notes on what to do if you’ve been hacked, advice for protection on Messenger and guidance on bullying and harassment.

Meta security guide

For Instagram, there are also general security tips, along with notes on its comment moderation tools.

Meta security guide

While for WhatsApp, there are explainers on how to delete messages, how to remove messages from group chats, and details on platform-specific data options.

Meta security guide

There are also links to various additional resource guides and tools for more context, providing in-depth breakdowns of when and how to action the various options.

It’s a handy guide, and while there are some journalist-specific elements included, most of the tips do apply to any user, so it could well be a valuable resource for anyone looking to get a better handle on your various privacy tools and options.

Definitely worth knowing either way – you can download the full guide here.

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Twitter bans account linked to Iran leader over video threatening Trump

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Twitter bans account linked to Iran leader over video threatening Trump


Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei meets with relatives of slain commander Qasem Soleimani ahead of the second anniverary of his death in a US drone strike in Iraq – Copyright POOL/AFP/File Tom Brenner

Twitter said Saturday it had permanently suspended an account linked to Iran’s supreme leader that posted a video calling for revenge for a top general’s assassination against former US president Donald Trump.

“The account referenced has been permanently suspended for violating our ban evasion policy,” a Twitter spokesperson told AFP.

The account, @KhameneiSite, this week posted an animated video showing an unmanned aircraft targeting Trump, who ordered a drone strike in Baghdad two years ago that killed top Iranian commander General Qassem Soleimani.

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s main accounts in various languages remain active. Last year, another similar account was suspended by Twitter over a post also appearing to reference revenge against Trump.

The recent video, titled “Revenge is Definite”, was also posted on Khamenei’s official website.

According to Twitter, the company’s top priority is keeping people safe and protecting the health of the conversation on the platform.

The social media giant says it has clear policies around abusive behavior and will take action when violations are identified.

As head of the Quds Force, the foreign operations arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Soleimani was the architect of its strategy in the Middle East.

He and his Iraqi lieutenant were killed by a US drone strike outside Baghdad airport on January 3, 2020.

Khamenei has repeatedly promised to avenge his death.

On January 3, the second anniversary of the strike, the supreme leader and ultraconservative President Ebrahim Raisi once again threatened the US with revenge.

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Trump’s supporters regularly denounce the banning of the Republican billionaire from Twitter, underscoring that accounts of several leaders considered authoritarian by the United States are allowed to post on the platform.



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Major US TV service dumps pro-Trump channel OAN

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Major US TV service dumps pro-Trump channel OAN


Former US president Donald Trump regularly called on Chanel Rion of OAN (pictured April 2020) during his press briefings – Copyright AFP/File STR

Subscription television service DirecTV has decided not to renew its contract with One America News Network (OAN), an ultra-conservative, conspiratorial US channel that backs former US president Donald Trump.

“We informed (OAN owner) Herring Networks that, following a routine internal review, we do not plan to enter into a new contract when our current agreement expires,” a spokesman for DirecTV told AFP Friday.

The deal is due to expire in April, according to a source familiar with the matter.

DirecTV, which is owned by US telecom giant AT&T, did not provide further details for its decision.

OAN is one of the new ultra-conservative players in television news that are trying to nibble away at the market share of Fox News.

Like Newsmax or Real America’s Voice, they refused to recognize Donald Trump’s defeat in the November 2020 presidential election, instead relaying unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about electoral fraud that were propagated by the former president and his supporters.

In mid-November 2020, for instance, OAN presenter Christina Bobb accused the Democratic Party of preparing “a coup” against Trump.

Trump himself invited his supporters to switch to OAN and Newsmax, and more and more leading Republican figures are appearing on the channels.

OAN saw its audiences climb in the wake of the election, but DirecTV’s decision is a serious blow because it is the channel’s largest distributor, according to US media.

OAN did not immediately respond to a request for comment from AFP.

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A year ago, when Trump supporters stormed Congress in an attempt to stop the certification of Democrat Joe Biden’s victory, OAN and Newsmax denounced — without any supporting evidence — what they called the infiltration of small groups of ultra-leftists into the crowd of Trump loyalists.



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