Visual social platforms like Instagram and Pinterest have truly revolutionized the modern business world for both – brands and consumers. As a result, more and more companies have integrated Social Media as part of their strategy for building brand awareness, increasing sales, generating website traffic, and improving customer relationships.

But in order to make any Social Media platform to work for your business and achieve great results, it is essential to understand its purpose and learn to use its features.

In this post, we will focus on the two most popular visual social platforms – Pinterest and Instagram – and discuss how the two platforms differ from one another, what are their similarities, and analyze which one is better for your business.

Let’s waste no more time and jump into the topic of Instagram vs Pinterest – which one is better for your business in 2021?

Table of Contents

  1. What Is Instagram?
  2. What Is Pinterest?
  3. Instagram vs Pinterest 2021
  4. Which Platform To Use in 2021?

What Is Instagram?

Without a doubt, Instagram is one of the most famous social networks. The platform is highly dependent on visual content – users can share content in the form of posts and stories, which can be seen by their followers and anyone else.

Instagram is an excellent tool for building brand awareness and creating a more engaging community.

The main focus of the platform is to allow users to share content through their mobile devices in just a few seconds while it also encourages others to interact with their content by following their IG page, liking, or commenting on their recent posts. etc.

What Is Pinterest?

Pinterest is a popular image-focused social network, often seen by users as an online pinboard for finding ideas like fashion inspiration, DIY projects, cooking recipes, event planning, etc. Many people use it to seek inspiration and curate visuals in the form of pins, pictures, and videos, that they can use later on.

The most unique aspect of Pinterest is the fact that the platform is also a visual engine that can be a great help to your SEO strategy. Anyone can use Pinterest to improve their SEO and boost their website traffic.

The platforms allow users to connect in more than one way – people can follow each other, send direct messages, collaborate on (group) boards, and leave comments under their favorite pins.

Related: If you’d like to find out more about Pinterest, check out – Is Pinterest Still Relevant in 2020?

Instagram vs Pinterest 2021

Instagram and Pinterest are my most favorite platforms. As a Marketer, I often try to use at least one of them for my B2C clients because of the huge reach and potential both platforms offer. But that does not mean that both Instagram and Pinterest are suitable for every business.

In order to choose the best platform for your business, it is crucial to understand the purpose of each one of them.

Although Instagram and Pinterest share the same concept, which is to allow the user to share/upload content online and interact with one another, the two platforms have a lot of differences. Instagram is about sharing your journey by focusing on creating your own content. While Pinterest is more about curating content that’s already on the platform and finding inspirational material.

Which Platform To Use in 2021?

If you find it a challenge to choose between the two social networks, here are some of the most important differences between Pinterest and Instagram today:

#1 Audience

Both social platforms have a huge audience pool that can have an enormous impact on your business. To understand better which Social Media is better for your brand, let’s have a look at who is using each one of them.

Who Uses Instagram?
  • The total number of monthly active users on Instagram is over 1 billion in 2020 (Source).
  • Of all users, 510 million Instagram users are female and 490 million are male (Source).
  • 72% of teens use Instagram (Source).
  • About 130 million Instagram accounts top on a shopping post to learn more about products every month (Source).

There are more than 1 billion people who use Instagram and 500 million of them use it daily. The number of men and women users is almost evenly represented on the platform. Instagram is more popular amongst the younger generation.

Who Uses Pinterest?
  • The total number of monthly active Pinterest users is 416 million users in 2020. (Statista)
  • Slightly over 70% of Pinterest users are females (Source).
  • One out of 2 millennials in the US uses Pinterest every month (Source).
  • About 90% of weekly Pinners make purchase decisions on Pinterest (Source).
  • Nearly 50% of Pinterest users spend time finding products and shopping on the platform (Source).

Compared to Instagram, Pinterest has a smaller audience but the majority of its users are female. The social network is more popular amongst millennials, although the site has some younger users too.

So for example, if your company wants to appeal to the younger audience, it makes sense to choose Instagram over Pinterest. But if your brand target primarily women, Pinterest might be a great choice for your business.

#2 Marketing Goals

While both platforms offer a lot of opportunities to scale your business and connect with your audience, choosing the right platform should align with your company goals and marketing objectives.

Instagram is a great digital tool to build brand awareness and develop your brand identity. The social network allows brands to provide a more personal experience for their customers. The IG newsfeed is refreshed daily, which enables companies to share news, events, and promotional content in order to inform their customers regularly. However, you might find it challenging to bring massive website traffic through the platform. Besides your Instagram biography and Instagram ads, you cannot add links to your content, which makes it harder to analyze the performance of each post.

Pinterest is one of the best digital tools to boost your SEO and build solid backlinks. One of the biggest advantages of the platform is that every new pin (post) allows users to add a direct URL to an external site. This makes it the perfect tool to generate website traffic and measure the effectiveness of your content.

Related: For more Social Media content, click here.

Contrary to Instagram, Pinterest’s newsfeed is not in chronological order. The lifespan of a Pinterest post (pin) is much longer than on any other Social Media platform. This makes it a challenge to inform your customers of the latest news about your company but it also opens an amazing opportunity for the long run.

The Pinterest algorithm prioritizes relevant content based on users’ past history and current interests. So, if a content piece is relevant to your account, it can show up months after the initial publishing date.

To sum up, if you are looking for a better way to communicate and engage with your audience, Instagram is the place for you. But if you want to test a funnel, build backlinks, and bring website traffic to your website, consider Pinterest Marketing.

#3 Desktop vs Mobile Usage

Instagram started as an app and Pinterest started as a website.

Today, both of them offer a desktop and mobile version for the comfort of the user. However, to this day, the majority of users use Instagram on their mobile phones. The Instagram app works great on mobile devices and offers a lot of features to the mobile user, whereas the website version falls behind.

On the other hand, Pinterest has made an excellent transition from desktop to mobile. It is suggested that 93% of the daily usage on Pinterest today happens on mobile devices (source). But this does not mean that the desktop version is outdated and should not be considered for your next marketing campaign. In fact, a recent study suggests that you might see higher conversions from desktop users.

#4 Content Marketing


One of the biggest differences between Instagram and Pinterest is when it comes to the content shared on each platform. We already discussed the lifespan of an Instagram post vs a pin and how content is presented to the users. But what about the content itself?

The type of content shared on each of these platforms is different.

Instagram is the perfect place for storytelling. The platform enables businesses to show their personality and focus on the human side of their brand. It encourages brands to share engaging and informative content easily accessible through direct messages, photos, and videos.

For example, businesses can use Instagram to announce a new product launch, exclusive limited deals, share behind-the-scenes content, and interact with their audience through posts and stories.

On the other hand, Pinterest is less about human interaction and more about seeking inspiration and discovering new content, tips, or specific products. It is the perfect place to share informational material such as your latest blog post or other informative content.

Although the platform does not offer features such as Instagram stories, businesses can still find a way to engage with their followers through strategic pinning, beautiful pins, and creative boards.

#5 Hashtag Discoverability

Almost every Social Media supports hashtags. But how effective are they when it comes to Instagram and Pinterest?

On Instagram, businesses have the opportunity to reach their target group with the help of hashtags. Everyone familiar with the platform recognizes the importance of hashtags. They are an excellent way to become part of a specific niche and discover people, interested in your content. Using up to 30 hashtags per post gives businesses the opportunity to grow consistently.

Related: Learn every Instagram secret and master hashtag research with my GUIDE – Master the Art of Instagram

But hashtags do not have the same meaning on Pinterest as they are not as useful for the growth of your account. The visual engine is highly dependent on sharing and repinning high-quality content with well-thought keyword research, which makes hashtags less useful for growth. With that being said, one to three hashtags per pin might help you to reach a bigger audience but only if they are placed in your pin’s description.

#6 Advertising

Both social platforms offer paid advertising.

Instagram advertising is one of the most popular ways of Social Media promotions. It is tied with its parent company, Facebook, which gives businesses the ability to choose from a wide range of users.

On Instagram, brands can use different types of ads to reach their audience. One of the most popular ways to advertise on the platform is by creating compelling and creative videos that bring positive results. Except for videos, businesses can use carousel, photo, or story ads to promote their products/services.

Pinterest, similar to Instagram, offers several types of ad formats. Users can choose between images, videos, carouse, or app pins to promote. However, the negative side of Pinterest promotion is that it is not available globally. Shopping ads are available mainly in the U.S. but there are some European countries that also have access to Pinterest Ads.

You can find the full list here.

Final Thoughts

So, which one to choose for your business?

Both platforms serve a different purpose and have different demographics, even though some of their users are overlapping. In order to decide which network is best for your business, it is essential to look at your buyer’s persona. Who is the ideal customer and where are they most likely to hang out?

If you are unable to identify where you can find your target audience, perhaps focus on your company goals and objectives. What does your business need the most?

Pinterest is the best place to generate high traffic conversions to your website. While Instagram is more about building your brand’s image and reputation and defining your brand’s identity.

If you find it hard to choose between the two, then you might want to try and see what your competitors are using, or even better – try a mix of both. And if you are unable to produce content for both channels, make sure to measure the performance of each one of them and prioritize the one that brings better results.

Before you go, make sure to check out my Instagram GuideMaster the Art of Instagram – and become an IG PRO today!

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