Despite its obvious appeal to consumers (who research and save everything from apparel to recipes), many industry leaders aren't quite sure what to make of the $11 billion valuation Pinterest received in mid-2015.
Skepticism surrounding this high value - which will likely be the basis of its rumored 2016/2017 IPO - isn't in Pinterest's impressive user base though, which includes 100 million-plus active users (54 percent of which are women aged 34-55, and 35 percent have a household income over $100,000). These high-value shoppers aren't just scrolling through the network looking for a bargain either. Pinterest users are often active in the discovery phase as the pinboard nework reports 87 percent of "Pinners" have purchased a product because of Pinterest while Shopify reports that pinners have higher average order values ($58.95) than Facebook users ($55).
Pinterest critics, however, are more concerned by how the network will monetize its audience and offerings rather than who is using it and how engaged they are.
Pinterest has some ideas though, announcing support for sponsored videos and retargeting as well as releasing long-anticipated buyable pins for the Web and acquiring a few companies over the past 18 months (e.g., mobile startup Livestar, visual search startup VisualGraph, save-for-later tool Instapaper).
Pinterest is certainly on an upward trend, and enterprises would be wise to monitor the network's value for both their business and their end-users. The same is true of all social media networks where a company's audience spends its time. To see what you know about well- and lesser-known social updates from 2016, take this month's Quiz Time (answers are at the bottom of the page)!
1. True or False: Instagram released a new “Stories” feature this summer, which is nearly identical to Snapchat’s popular offering.
+ Cheat sheet: wsm.co/storysocial
2. What is one way Facebook currently supports calls-to-action within a Facebook Live post?
a. Users can click on the video to be directed to a website
b. Viewers can click on the “Follow” button on live videos to receive notifications next time the Page goes live
c. Fans can download an app directly from the video’s description
d. Viewers can enter their email address in the comments section to sign up for a newsletter
+ Cheat sheet: wsm.co/livecta
3. Which technology did Snapchat acquire in Aug. 2016?
a. A software solution that automates social, email and display marketing
b. An e-commerce platform for high-growth startups focusing on mobile commerce
c. A recommendation app that provides suggestions/results on things to do and places to visit
d. A small Web design agency based in Austin, Texas
+ Cheat sheet: wsm.co/snapbuy16
4. User-generated content curator Olapic was acquired by Monotype for this amount:
a. $130 million
b. $25 million
c. $2 billion
d. $1.2 million
+ Cheat sheet: wsm.co/olapicacq
5. Which social network competed for and won the rights to live stream Thursday Night NFL games?
+ Cheat sheet: wsm.co/nflsocial
Answers: 1. (true), 2. (b), 3. (c), 4. (a), 5. (b)