Social media is increasingly dominated by visual content. Videos, photos and infographics have emotional appeal and can convey a message in an instant, and as a result are more shared than text-based posts. So it’s no surprise that Pinterest, with its visual focus, has taken off so fast.
While the average visit to Google+ in January last year was for 3.3 minutes, Pinterest visitors were staying for an average of more than an hour and a half at a time. Many commentators are interpreting Google’s latest changes to its social platform as a direct response to this challenge.
Pinterest, initially conceived as an online bulletin board, had the lead in terms of advertising specific products, with Google+ only recently falling into line. The ‘card’ format is now common to Google+ and Pinterest with new Google+ defaulting to two or three cards wide depending on screen dimensions.
Google+’s recent improvements are mainly focused around image-handling, with images loaded in full resolution by default, and new Flickr-like features such as Auto Enhance to clean up images on upload and Auto Awesome to create animated gifs or compile the best smiles into one perfect group shot.
While both were started as individuals’ social hubs, both Google+ and now Pinterest currently offer business pages which can contribute branded posts to users’ feeds.
If you want to appeal to women, Pinterest is for you – 83% of Pinterest users are women aged between 18 and 34, with a focus on fashion, crafts, decor or design. Google+, by contrast, has 60% male users with technology dominating subject matter.
Pinterest may still be winning the battle but with increasing integration into Google searches plus tie-ins with other popular products like Google docs and Gmail, Google+ may well win the war. Internet marketers, ignore it at your peril.