Pinterest fastest-growing social networks to ever

caro2 Caroline Arapoff  |  April 19, 2012

Pinterest, the pinboard-style social photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies and more. Users can browse other pinboards for inspiration, ‘re-pin’ images to their own collections and or ‘like’ photos. Pinterest’s mission is to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting” via a global platform of inspiration and idea sharing. Pinterest allows its users to share ‘pins’ on both Twitter and Facebook, which allows users to share and interact with a broad community. Founded by Ben Silbermann, of West Des Moines, Iowa, the site is currently managed by Cold Brew Labs and funded by a small group of entrepreneurs and inventors. It is one of the “fastest growing social services in the world.” bringing in more referral traffic than YouTube, Reddit, Google+ and LinkedIn.

But according to digital analytics company comScore, the popular site has showed some signs of slowed traffic from unique visitors. Although the number of unique visitors is still up compared to recent months, Pinterest brought in unique visitors at a lower growth-rate during the February to March time period compared to January to February.

Pinterest is now the number three most-popular social network in the U.S., behind Facebook and Twitter, according to Experian Hitwise. Experian rep Matt Tatham says Pinterest beat its next-closest competitor, LinkedIn, in total visits in February. Tatham says the rankings by total visits for March is as follows:

  1. Facebook: 7 billion
  2. Twitter: 182 million
  3. Pinterest: 104 million
  4. LinkedIn: 86 million
  5. Tagged: 72 million
  6. Google+: 61 million

The report, which tracks visits rather than unique visitors, is based on web traffic and doesn’t factor in visits from mobile sites. According to Experian’s reckoning, Foursquare only got 2.9 million visits in March and Instagram got 10.2 million.

Development of Pinterest began in December 2009, and the site launched as a closed beta in March 2010. The site proceeded to operate in invitation-only open beta.