More than 100 million users are on Pinterest, the online bulletin board-style service that allows people to "pin" images based on their interests, the California company said Wednesday. Co-founder Evan Sharp told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that most of the users "are not just visiting Pinterest once a month, but they're actually discovering something so interesting that they're saving it or are clicking through to the website." "Of its 100 million active users, more than 70 percent are actively engaged," he said in a telephone interview.
The disclosure from Pinterest is the first time since its launch in March 2010 that it has discussed the number of users. Sharp said the majority of Pinterest users are women but noted the gender gap "is closing a little bit every month."
Based on the latest figures, Pinterest remains well behind the Facebook-owned app Instagram, also a photo-sharing service, which claims some 300 million users. But Sharp said the two platforms serve different needs and different audiences. "Instagram is more of a social service at the end of the day," he said. "[Instagram] is more similar to a social network" while Pinterest "is much more like a search engine," he said. "On Pinterest, you search for something, you find a great outfit, you can buy that outfit. [The two platforms] serve very different purposes." Pinterest, whose valuation has jumped to $11 billion, employs 500 people and has recently opened offices in Paris, Berlin, Tokyo and Sao Paulo.