Pinterest Growth Hacks: How did it grow so fast?

by adam on June 2, 2012

Growth Hack #1: Insta-follow

Upon signing up for Pinterest you are automatically following a select group of high quality users. This in turn helps alleviate the cold-start problem, where I have to go looking around the site to find boards and people to follow. Instead I get a sampling of high quality content immediately filling my feed.

pinners



Growth Hack #2: Facebook Friend Follow

When you sign up for Pinterest with Facebook, your friends who are already using Pinterest auto-follow you and you follow them back. But all this auto following doesn’t seem to happen all at once but is staggered over time so that you get periodic notifications that someone has just started following you on PInterest. This brings you back to the app again and again. This also helps alleviate the cold-start problem and gives me a social incentive to maintain my presence on the site, lest I look boring in front of my friends.

follow-all



Growth Hack #3: Always Available UI

The user interface of Pinterest, while seemingly uncluttered, hides a tremendous amount of features and functionality within immediate reach. For example, I can perform almost every action that I would take anywhere on the site all from within my feed, including: commenting, liking, re-pinning a post, following a friend. With one more click to view a pin I can then follow the author of that pin, like/tweet/embed/email the pin, follow the board the pin is from, follow the website source of the pin.

Having all of these possible actions omni-present streamlines the amount pages that I need to navigate to and from to perform any desired actions and has the effect of increasing the overall amount of interactions and actions that I perform with the users of the site and the content being posted and in turn increases the overall flow of new visitors and traffic.

1280-pinterest-sahil-lavingia-design



Growth Hack #4: Infinite Scroll

Try and scroll down your pinterest feed and you will never reach the bottom. The auto-scrolling technique that pinterest employs when you scroll down the page produces a state of ‘flow’ that is very easy to get lost in, spending minutes or even hours scrolling through pins without being mindful of the clock.

fetching



Growth Hack #5: Social Bookmarklet

The “Pin” bookmarklet is a low friction tool that does not require immediate action, but if you want to complete the Pin from the stash area its straight forward to do so. Visual browse requires scanning or skimming images rather than reading through laborious text, which is also a lower friction search experience.

pinit


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28 comments

Thank you for this research, good stuff :)

by Brian Cardarella on June 2, 2012 at 9:49 pm. #

6. spammer generated content – reducing user friction. millions of spam pins were put up (before the rate-limit) adding to its growth.
7. an email for every action, enabled by default. spam emails constantly re-engage and remind users to visit the site.
8. “invite” only. having to wait a few days before you join, changes the dynamic of the signup process. it seems “private” although you dont have to login to view the site.

by 678 on June 3, 2012 at 5:07 am. #

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by Growth tips from Pinterest on June 3, 2012 at 9:53 pm. #

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by Why is Pinterest growing so quickly? - KyleLibra.com on June 4, 2012 at 1:31 pm. #

Although I don’t enjoy many of this hacks as a user, I think it’s a great example of how little changes in the experience we create with our service can be a totally gamechanger.

by Celeste North on June 4, 2012 at 3:33 pm. #

We are going to launch the first analytic tool for Pinterest soon. Don’t forget to join the pre-launch http://signup.pinauthority.com/

by PinAuthority on June 17, 2012 at 7:53 am. #

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by Social Stream Display like Pinterest – Infinite-social-wall – Smashing Web on July 23, 2012 at 9:37 pm. #

Great post. I’m really not sure if Growth Hack #4 (Infinite Scroll) counts as one for me though.

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by 5 Great Startups that Hacked Early Growth « Adam Breckler on August 5, 2012 at 3:30 pm. #

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by Why Growth Hackers are Taking Over Startup Marketing | @Technori on October 16, 2012 at 5:31 am. #

Adam, Thanks for the insight…

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by Growth Hacking : Le marketing des startups | Startup & Digital Marketing on October 17, 2013 at 3:05 am. #

Keynote presentation at SXSW 2012 and Pinterest’s founder mentioned that he had some friends in the interior design niche. I can certainly recall this platform satisfied a MUCH needed void in myself as an interior design blogger, and he hit on the just the right influencers to get the word out. I think that this blog niche really helped to spread the fire. It quickly became a niche standard…

by Betsy Moyer on December 16, 2013 at 6:06 pm. #

Great post! Really good content and ideas on how to activate and retain users. Thanks for sharing!

by Andrew Bermudez on April 1, 2014 at 5:06 pm. #

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