Instagram vs Pinterest
Instagram and Pinterest stand out as the two most visual-centric social media platforms that we have. If you want to get any attention at all—let alone any followers—you need to have gorgeous, high-quality images on both.
- Site Purpose
Instagram and Pinterest have two very different purposes.
Instagram is used primarily to share a users’ own photos; Pinterest is primarily used to curate and save content often uploaded by other users.
Instagram is more about sharing, while Pinterest is more about discovering.
This affects how users interact with content on the site.
Gorgeous images will do well on both, but on Pinterest users also need to see some sense of value.
That stunning Thanksgiving spread won’t get a lot of repins if there’s no recipe or DIY instructions attached on Pinterest, even if it would kill on Instagram. The captions and descriptions of your content should reflect this.
Instagram’s audience is much more diverse than Pinterest’s. It’s also much larger than Pinterest’s.
Hootsuite collected the top Instagram demographics, revealing that Instagram’s audience:
Has reached 1 Billion active users
More than 70 percent of Instagram’s users are under 35
Instagram’s most active users are in the 18- to 29-year-old demographic
more women (39%) than men (30%) are using Instagram
for users aged 18 to 34: there are 20 million more male users than female.
Pinterest’s audience is a much more predominantly female audience too (even though Pinterest’s male user base is growing).
As of March 2017, Pinterest’s audience:
Has 200 million active users
Has 17% of all online men on the platform, and 45% of women who are online
36% of 18–29 year olds use Pinterest.
34% of 30–49 year olds
28% of 50–64 year olds
68% had a college degree or higher
- Desktop vs. Mobile
This is a small one, but it’s still worth noting. Pinterest is fully functional on both desktop and mobile; I even personally prefer using it on desktop, though they’ve got additional great features for mobile (like Buyable Pins or the ‘show me more like this option’). Since e-commerce conversions occur at much higher rates on desktop than mobile, this works on Pinterest’s favor.
Instagram, meanwhile, is almost exclusively meant to be a mobile app. You can view content on a desktop and comment on other users’ posts, but you can’t upload anything new. You also won’t see ads or be able to see or upload Instagram Stories from the desktop app. Instagram is currently slowly rolling out their Shopify in-app shopping feature, which could significantly increase the platform’s selling power.
- Link Sharing Capabilities
Pinterest prioritizes link sharing and saving. Instagram doesn’t even have this as a feature at all.
Instagram is currently the only platform that doesn’t allow you to share links in posts. You can post a link in your profile bio, and you can add links to Instagram Ads (including Story Ads) that you run.
When you’re looking to distribute content, Pinterest is the best choice. Promoting your content on Instagram can still be effective, however, especially with a #linkinbio hashtag attached.
- Hashtag Usage
Hashtags are an essential part of Instagram.
Users love reading and coming up with new, innovative hashtags even if there’s no way they existed before. Hashtags also serve as a powerful method to help you connect with your target audience. Local audiences can start to put their content in front of their audience with a #Orlando or an #ILoveWyoming.
While plenty of users do attach hashtags to Pinterest, they don’t have much of a point.
Because pins are already aptly labeled in order to improve their accuracy in search results, you don’t need hashtags to get in front of your target audience. There’s already categories you can choose to sort through. All the hashtags do is add text users may not care to read through.
Major Image Differences of Instagram and Pinterest
So far, we’ve looked at the functionality differences between Instagram and Pinterest that will affect marketers.
There are other differences between the two platforms, however, that may be less obvious but can sink you just as quickly.
- Human Faces
On Pinterest, images without human faces are repinned 23% more often than those that include them.
It’s why you’ll see full body images to show outfits cut off at the woman’s chin.
Instagram is exactly the opposite.
A study by Mashable found that Instagram posts with smiling human faces got 38% more likes than those without them. (Just no duck-face selfies, please).
- Preferred Primary Colors
Instagram goes for images with blueish hues as the primary color, and these posts get 24% more likes than those with reddish hues.
Pinterest, however, prefers images with lots of reds; they get twice as many repins as those with other primary colors.
- Number of Dominant Colors
Instagram likes to keep things simple; users prefer images with a single dominant color. These posts generate 17% more likes than those with multiple dominant colors.
- Close Up vs. Background
Yet another opposite. Instagram images with more background get 29% more likes, while close-ups have higher performance on Pinterest.