Pinterest announced today that it has reached 150 million monthly active users, a 50 million increase over the 100 million monthly active users reported a year ago.
It’s not a bad result given the photo sharing website wanted to reach 151 million monthly active users by the end of 2015, but it isn’t great or on-point either.
TechCrunch reports that leaked Pinterest documents show it wanted to end 2016 with 218 million monthly active users. With less than 3 months to go, that’s highly unlikely.
Revenue targets won’t be anywhere near expected. Wall Street Journal reports the seven year old ‘startup’ is expected to generate 300 million dollars in revenue for 2016. The leaked documents, according to TechCrunch show an estimated revenue of 663 million dollars for 2016.
However the CEO of Pinterest, Ben Silbermann, defended the estimates saying “there were some early projections when we were just a couple months into building the business, but we’ve learned more about it.”
Venture capital firm Andreessen-Horowitz partner Jeff Jordan is quoted as saying about the missed targets, “Startup life is dynamic, and years old projections aren’t particularly relevant to where companies are today…we’re thrilled with Pinterest’s performance — strong continued user growth, best-in-class user engagement, and an increasingly robust platform for advertisers that’s leading to rapidly expanding revenue. We’re very excited about what’s to come.”
No matter whether these were meant to be projections and set-in-stone promises, it does reflect growth challenges Pinterest will have to overcome. First there’s the matter of slowing rate of female user base. Pinterest has been always been more popular among women but the company reports that now 40% of sign-ups are in fact men, a base that is growing at 70%YoY.
Then there’s the case of how Pinterest will make itself relevant, even indispensable to advertisers and users when Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and the likes are still growing strong. What can Pinterest do that is unique besides appealing to brides-to-be and fashion lovers?
It’s a question better answered fast as Snapchat which is 2 years younger than Pinterest is already projecting revenues between 500 million dollars and a billion dollars 2017.
However, there exists the silver lining for increasing user base. Pinterest said 80 million of its new users came from outside its home country (the US). The company is also popular among Indians. In 2014 Pinterest said its Indian user base grew by 150%.