Is Pinterest Social Media or a Search Engine?

Is Pinterest Social Media or a Search Engine?

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Is Pinterest Social Media or a Search Engine? Pinterest is a significant platform with monthly active users of 465 million out of which women make up more than 60% of the global audience. People often spend their time buying things and saving ideas. However, there is a big debate whether Pinterest is social media or is it a search engine. Let’s dive into this blog to debunk the digital dilemma. 


Pinterest is an image-based content sharing platform that allows its members, or Pinners as they are called in the community, to express themselves by making pinboards – a modern day virtual mood board of sorts. Pinners share photographs (or pins) that inspire them and other users. Pinterest trends sustain 21% longer than other online trends. Pinterest has the option to store GIFs and videos. Pinterest is a visual-oriented platform to discover inspiration for things like recipes, decorating ideas, and more. It has gained a lot of attention in recent years.

Let us understand the social media and search engine spectrum of Pinterest.

Is Pinterest Social Media or a Search Engine?

The Social Media Spectrum of Pinterest

Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are created to share visual designs where users connect, share, and engage with others. The content-sharing platforms encourage users to build communities in the interactive spaces and build relationships. 

Pinterest aligns with several characteristics of social media. Users can create profiles, follow each other, build networks, schedule, and share content. One distinctive feature of Pinterest is users can follow other users, create board groups, and send direct messages. These features help users to establish relationships with other content creators and engage with them. So, Pinterest has some characteristics of social media platforms. 

However, there are some differences between Pinterest and social media platforms. To quote an example, the focal point of Pinterest is images and videos. This implies that people who use Pinterest are essentially looking for visual inspiration and ideas rather than socializing and networking. One more key difference between Pinterest and social media platforms is the mode of interaction.

On one hand, users on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter mainly engage via likes, comments and shares. On the other hand, users on Pinterest interact with each other through pins, repins, boards and templates. You do have options to like and comment but it is not a common practice on Pinterest. 

The question arises again whether Pinterest is social media? We cannot definitely say it yet. Let us look at the SEO perspective. 

The Search Engine Spectrum of Pinterest

Search engines assist users to discover information by searching with the help of relevant keywords or phrases. The search engine then shows results on the basis of the user’s search query. The algorithms of the search engine retrieve relevant content from the web. 

Pinterest’s resemblance is noticeable from its feature as a visual discovery engine. Searches and keywords power Pinterest. The people browsing get inspiration, ideas and information by typing in keywords and phrases that are relevant to their interests. From home décor to cooking recipes to travel destinations, the algorithms of Pinterest deliver visually appealing results that align with the search. This feature echoes the essence of search engine, albeit with a more visually enticing approach. 

There is some disparity between Pinterest and search engines. Visuals are significant to Pinterest. Every search on it is focused on visual inspiration. This implies that users are intentionally looking for visual search results rather than a written content. They showcase the search results in the format of visually appealing images and videos. Search engines present a written format content in the form of a list for a search query.

You can also read how social media supercharges your SEO efforts!

Six Features that make Pinterest a Search Engine

  1. Pinterest Search Bar: The users may search for specific material on Pinterest by using relevant keywords and phrases. This characteristic is similar to Google, Yahoo and Bing. 
  2. Keywords: Keywords are one of the most important aspects as Pinterest applies keywords to find the user’s search query. Pinterest’s algorithms use keywords to display relevant visuals (images, videos). 
  3. Visual Search Option: This is one of the significant features that justifies it as a search engine option. To discover information related to an image or a video, this feature incorporates Pinterest’s advanced image recognition technology. 
  4. Content Lifespan: In contrast to social media platforms like Fecabook, Instagram and Twitter, Pinterest content lasts longer. This is because search engine Pinterest gives the utmost emphasis to the information that is relevant and helpful to the audience.
  5. Recommendations and Relevant Pins: Pinterest uses algorithms, similar to search engines, to provide tailored recommendations and relevant pins to its users. This feature encourages content discovery outside the scope of direct searches.
  6. Trend Detection: Pinterest can recognize new trends and observe changes in the user preferences by monitoring the frequency and popularity of the search queries and pins. This feature helps both consumers and marketers to look for new trends and make use of it.


In the light of the available information, Pinterest would be categorized as a search engine. It helps users to create content, share, engage and build relationships. But at the same time, it also assists the users to search for content by putting relevant keywords or phrases in the search bar and presenting visually appealing search results

If you want to get inspiration to create content, then make use of Pinterest as a search engine and not social media platform. Pinterest stands as an instrument to the evolution of online platforms. It exemplifies how innovation can lead to the creation of a unique and compelling platform. Many people still view Pinterest as a social media site and that is fine too! It is difficult to pin down!

More resources for you:

What is Meme Marketing? Everything You Should Know

Why Hiring a Social Media Manager for a Small Business Matters?

You can Follow Markeeters on Pinterest.


Q1. How is Pinterest different from other social media?

Pinterest isn’t ACTUALLY a social media. The algorithms support the fact that the users use it increasingly as a search engine. There are options to socialize and network, however, it is not the main goal of Pinterest.

What makes Pinterest so helpful?

Pinterest is mostly used for inspiration. Users are more likely to search for an idea or a product. Additionally, as compared to other social media platforms, Pinterest is effective in influencing purchasing decisions of the regular users.

Is Pinterest a search engine?

It is commonly recognized as a search engine. The users search for ideas and inspiration for many elements with particular goals.

Which Pinterest search is the most popular?

Pinterest is a go-to platform to search for new ideas and products. The most popular ones are home decor, DIY and crafts, women’s fashion, food and drink, beauty, health and wellness, travel, gardening and more.

Is Pinterest better than Google?

Google and Pinterest are both classified as search engines. However, Pinterest is a visual search engine and users usually search for their related query and get inspiration.

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