Pinterest Loses 24 Million Users as Lockdowns Ease and Physical Stores Re-Open Around the World

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A new article on Social Media Today says that after reporting eleven quarters of consecutive user growth, Pinterest has taken a hit, with the platform seeing a decline in overall users in Q2, though its revenue results remained strong for the period.

However, users will be the key storyline here - as you can see here, Pinterest lost 24 million users over the past three months, with US users dropping 5% year-on-year. Pinterest says the loss is largely attributable to the global vaccine roll-out and the re-opening of physical stores, which has impacted the adoption of eCommerce and online browsing:

"Fewer MAUs came to Pinterest during Q2 than we expected. The primary driver of slower year over year MAU growth globally and year over year MAU declines in the US was the widespread easing of pandemic restrictions. As lockdowns lifted, people spent less time at home in Q2 2021 vs. Q2 2020. Given that many of Pinterest's core use cases (e.g., decor, garden, cooking, DIY) are especially relevant at home, we believe we disproportionately benefited from increased time spent at home during pandemic lockdowns. Since mid-March, however, we believe engagement on Pinterest was disproportionately lower as people began spending more time socializing with friends outside their homes, eating in restaurants, and generally participating in activities that are not our core use cases. This trend impacted different types of MAUs differently. Virtually all of the difference between our Q2 MAU guidance and our actual Q2 MAUs is attributable to a decline in MAUs who use Pinterest on the web. These users have tended to be less engaged and generate less revenue than Pinners who visited our mobile apps directly. In Q2, MAUs on our mobile apps grew in the US year over year, and grew by more than 20% internationally.

Several positive trends that emerged during the pandemic continued in Q2 despite these headwinds. Shopping engagement continued to be more resilient than overall engagement, reflecting the significant investments we've made in this area over the past two years. Search engagement rates (which surged during the pandemic) remained elevated vs. pre-pandemic levels. Finally, Gen Z Pinners continued to be highly engaged; US MAUs under 25 grew double-digits year over year and showed particularly strong engagement with our new native content format, Idea Pins."
Last year's results were somewhat anomalous, due to the pandemic, which means that these numbers will inevitably look bad in comparison. On balance, 454 million overall users is steady in terms of the platform's longer-term growth trajectory - it's just that adding 62 million more users over the past year was not sustainable, which amplifies the losses somewhat.

You can read the full report right here.
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