US visitors to social networking site Pinterest grew a huge 4,377% between May 2011 and May this year, according to comScore's latest ‘State of the US Internet' report, due to be released later this month but seen by StrategyEye. The stat means Pinterest is leading the general growth of US visitors to social networking sites, which were up 6% year on year in total. However, the social pinboard is growing considerably faster than its older peers, with Tumblr its closest rival at 168% growth. Older networks, for which the US is already a saturated market, saw considerably slower growth, with visits to LinkedIn up 67%, Twitter up 58% and Facebook just 4%.
It is worth noting that, although eye-catching, Pinterest's growth does not actually leave it with a particularly large share of the US market. Facebook still commands the lion's share of monthly visitors at 155m, while all other sites lag below the 35m mark. However, Pinterest's growth between October last year and May this year already puts it on an even footing with the likes of Tumblr and LinkedIn, with all three hovering at around the 20m monthly unique visitors mark. And although unique visitors showed signs of flattening between February and March this year, the growth trend indicates that Pinterest may even overtake LinkedIn and Tumblr for unique visitors in the immediate future.
comScore also found that Pinterest ranked highest when it comes to spending power, with individual users likely to shop more frequently, and to spend more per purchase, than those visiting any other social network. This is likely to come as welcome news to the fledgling site, which is currently exploring different revenue models, but whose popularity among women and brands could lead it down an e-commerce route.
More widely, in what is an increasing sign of audiences from emerging markets embracing the internet, comScore concluded that the US is "no longer the centre of the online universe". Asia Pacific commands the largest internet audience with 41%, followed by Europe with 26.6% and North America at 14.6%. This is a huge drop from the early days of the internet, with the US commanding a huge 66% of the global internet audience in 1996.
"Many emerging regions are likely to bypass old modes, skipping dial-up to go straight to broadband, making multimedia, video, and collaborative content immediately accessible," says comScore. "Early adoption of mobile web in addition to PC web will likely be popular in many of these high-growth areas."
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