Is pinning actually more engaging than tweeting?
Data from e-commerce analytics platform RJMetrics seem to suggest so, according to tech trend site VentureBeat.com.
"Pinterest retains a remarkably high percentage of new users who go on to use the site at high rates and stay active on the site long after they’ve joined," it said
VentureBeat said RJMetrics founder and CEO Robert Moore looks at the behaviors and activities of the Pinterest.com's members and compared them with those of micro-blogging site Twitter.com.
"The data show that Pinterest retains and engages users two to three times more efficiently than Twitter did at the same time in its history," it said.
More importantly, it said the pins represent a wide range of content spread across a smattering of sites.
RJMetrics collected and analyzed nearly one million pins from a random sampling of Pinterest users to arrive at its conclusions.
It indicated it is confident that its sample group is representative of the larger Pinterest population.
Conducive to sharing
RJMetrics also found 80 percent of all pins are re-pins - meaning an overwhelming majority of content shared on site is recycled between users.
In contrast, just 1.4 percent of tweets were retweets at a similar time in Twitter’s history, according to another study.
“Pinterest is conducive to sharing. There’s a very low barrier to sharing [pins] with everyone who is following you,” Moore said in an interview with VentureBeat.
Moore added the site is structured so that members become creators themselves by “liking” the pins of the people they follow.
This results in a powerful network effect that eclipses the retweeting activities of Twitter users, VentureBeat said.
Moore and RJMetrics also noted the pins, instead of pointing predominantly to a single source such as Etsy or Amazon, feature a diversity of content from more than 100,000 different sources.
VentureBeat noted that while Etsy is the most popular domain and powers just over three percent of all pins, the low percentage came as a shock to Moore.
“There is a high correlation between Pinterest usage and Etsy usage, but I was expecting a much higher percentage,” Moore said. “There is an extremely long-tail effect at work here … and Pinterest is not dependent on any one platform.”
Google ranks second, accounting for around 3 percent of pins, but most Google links point to Google Image Search results.
Flickr is the source behind 2.5 percent of pins, Tumblr represents 1.1 percent, and image gallery site weheartit.com accounts for 1 percent of pins.
Amazon made it to the top 20 list, but ekes out less than half a percent.
The data also highlights how pinning activities remain consistent over time, making Pinterest unique among social networking sites, which usually see much higher natural attrition rates.
RJMetrics said the net attrition rate on Pinterest is close to 0 percent.
“This either means that no one who starts using Pinterest ever stops or — more likely — that users who continue to use Pinterest become so much more engaged over time that their activities fully make up for those of any users who leave,” Moore said.
No flash in the pan
VentureBeat said the findings suggest a startup that is anything but a flash in a pan.
“This is evidence that Pinterest can do some pretty amazing things and grow really large in size. This is not a Chatroulette … once people start using it, they don’t stop,” Moore said.
Moore added Pinterest has the potential to grow to hundreds of millions of members, and fast.
He speculated the relatively new company will implement a more lucrative system than affiliate link-swapping for cashing in on the pinning activities of its highly engaged members.
The new firm could easily enable members to purchase products featured in pins directly on the Pinterest site, he added.
Such a setup would make Pinterest a more commercially viable application than Twitter, which is much older and larger, he added.
Howeveer, Twitter may be forced to monetize in a way that could negatively affect the user experience, such as by adding ads to the stream of tweets viewed by its users. — TJD, GMA News