Pinterest has posted its latest performance update, posting a significant jump in revenue, and steady growth in overall usage.
First off, on users – Pinterest added 17 million more users in Q4, taking it to 459 million actives.
As you can see, that means Pinterest has maintained the same growth momentum from the previous quarter, which is a positive result, and underlines the platform’s ongoing progress.
Though it is worth noting that its growth has seemingly stalled in the US. Pinterest’s US monthly usage increased 11% YoY, while internationally, the platform grew 46% in the same period.
That’s not necessarily a bad sign, as it shows that Pinterest is expanding its offerings, but Pinterest is heavily reliant on US users for revenue, as shown in its average revenue per user stats.
Pinterest still has a way to go to adequately monetize its international audience, and it’s not growing that figure at the same rate. That does point to ongoing opportunity, and the overall increase in ARPU here is also a positive, but Pinterest will likely need to give this more focus in future – or look to boost its appeal in the US, in order to maximize its opportunities.
For the year, Pinterest added 124 million more users overall.
For comparison, Snapchat added 47 million DAU in 2020, and Twitter added 35 million mDAU (thus far). Facebook added 299 million in the same period. Given Pinterest’s placement, that’s significant growth, which points to the rising utility of the platform.
Pinterest also notes that it saw higher growth among users under 25 in the quarter
In terms of revenue, Pinterest brought in $706 million in Q4, an increase of 76% year over year compared to Q4 2019.
That’s a strong result, which underlines Pinterest’s growing connection to eCommerce, which saw a massive increase in 2020.
As per Pinterest:
“Revenue growth was driven primarily by an earlier and sustained holiday season and product improvements that helped advertisers scale budgets and achieve more conversions. Advertiser demand was broad-based as businesses have increasingly adapted to the COVID environment.”
Among the key additions in the period was the introduction of a new Shop tab on business profiles, along with improved product tagging, while Pinterest also jumped aboard the Stories train with Story Pins.
Both product tagging and Story Pins are set to get more focus in 2021, with Pinterest looking to make it easier for more businesses to list their products on the platform, ensuring users can purchase more items direct from Pins.
“We’re also taking important first steps to build a creator ecosystem around Story Pins where a new generation of creators can create great content to enrich the lives of Pinners.”
Which is the key impetus of Stories – with so many users, especially younger audiences, become more accustomed to the full-screen, vertical Stories feed, it makes sense for more platforms to be following the trend and adding their own Stories options.
Pinterest’s numbers underline the growth of eCommerce more broadly, while they also solidify Pinterest’s standing within that shift. And while its US growth was flat for the quarter, the expanded revenue opportunities, and connection to online shopping, hold the platform in good stead for further development and opportunity.
Iran pop singer silenced, but his song remains a protest anthem
Shervin Hajipour’s song “Baraye” draws on the tweets of Iranians longing for a normal life – Copyright Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)/AFP –
Even though he has been silenced, Iranian pop singer Shirvin Hajipour’s impassioned song in support of protests over Mahsa Amini’s death in custody remains an unofficial anthem of the movement.
The song “Baraye” notched up 40 million views on Instagram before it was deleted when Hajipour was arrested, but he has since been freed on bail and has distanced himself from politics, likely as a condition for his release.
Baraye, the Persian word “For” or “Because”, is composed of tweets about the protests and highlights longings people have for things lacking in sanctions-hit Iran, where many complain of hardship caused by economic mismanagement.
It also draws on everyday activities that have landed people in trouble with the authorities in the Islamic republic.
“For the sake of dancing in the streets; Because of the fear felt while kissing; For my sister, your sister, your sisters,” the song’s lyrics say.
“Because of the embarrassment of an empty pocket; Because we are longing for a normal life… Because of this polluted air.”
Baraye has been heard played loudly at night from apartment blocks in Iran to show support for protests sparked by Amini’s death on September 16, after the notorious morality police arrested her for allegedly breaching rules requiring women to wear hijab headscarves and modest clothes.
It was also sung with gusto by the Iranian diaspora at rallies in more than 150 cities around the world at the weekend.
In one clip shared by the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran, a group of schoolgirls without headscarves is seen singing Baraye in class with their backs to the camera.
The tune was removed from Hajipour’s Instagram account shortly after his arrest but is still widely available on other social media platforms, including Twitter and YouTube.
– ‘Because of forced Instagram stories’ –
Hajipour’s lawyer Majid Kaveh said he was released on bail at noon on Tuesday.
The reformist Shargh newspaper said his family had been informed of his arrest in the northern city of Sari on Saturday, in a report that cited his sister Kamand Hajipour.
She had said in an Instagram post that her parents had been informed of his arrest in a call from the city’s intelligence ministry offices.
Shortly after his release, Hajipour was back on Instagram, but this time to apologise and distance himself from politics.
“I’m here to say I’m okay,” he told his 1.9 million followers on the platform.
“But I’m sorry that some particular movements based outside of Iran — which I have had no relations with — made some improper political uses of this song.
“I would not swap this (country) for anywhere else and I will stay for my homeland, my flag, my people, and I will sing.
“I don’t want to be a plaything for those who do not think of me, you or this country,” he added.
In response to his post, many on Twitter suggested the line “Because of forced Instagram stories” should be added to the lyrics of the song.
Human rights groups including Article 19 have repeatedly called on Iran to end its use of forced confessions, which they say are false and extracted under duress or even torture.
In one recent case, a young Iranian woman, Sepideh Rashno, disappeared after becoming involved in a dispute on a Tehran bus with another woman who accused her of removing her headscarf.
She was held by the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and appeared on television in what activists said was a forced confession before being released on bail in late August.
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