If you are not yet acquainted with either Instagram or Pinterest you might get the impression that they are very similar social image sharing networks. However, that would be the same as stating that a car and a bus are the same. Though they both have 4 wheels and a steering wheel there are some major differences in the needs they comply, making it obvious that they fulfill different rolls in the traffic. Same goes for Instagram and Pinterest. So lets take a look under the hood of these two hot social networks and find out which one fits your business needs the best.




Instagram was launched in October 2010 as an online photo sharing social network app where the users could take images, apply digital filters and share them on different social networks with friends and people who follow them. In 2012 Facebook acquired Instagram for a whopping $1 billion in cash and shares. Two and a half years after launching the Instagram app the company reached the milestone of 100 million active monthly users. Instagram is an active network with large amount of actions every day. On a daily basis 40 million photos get uploaded to Instagram and a staggering 8500 likes and 1000 comments get shared each second. Earlier this year Instagram introduced a new feature that is said to make this fast-growing network even larger and more powerful; the possibility to share videos lasting up to 15 seconds.

Who uses Instagram

Women are more likely to use Instagram as are those in the age between 18 and 29. Though there are clearly more urban residence that use Instagram there is no clear link between level of education and whether you are using Instagram. It seems as if Instagram appeals to both collage- as to high school graduates.

What get liked on Instagram

Basically there are no rules for what works on Instagram and what does not. By browsing the platform you will find lots of images of food-plates, animals, portraits and sunsets. Some are edited with filters while others just remains original. Due to the enormous amount of images uploaded every day the need for being original and to find a personal style seems to be the thin red line on this network. You need to find an angle and stick with it. Be creative, personal and true to your brand, then your images will start getting liked.

What is in it for my business

Instagram is much more than a video and image sharing social network for young women. It is a great place if you want to promote your business and its products. It is also a perfect place if you wish to create engagement and intimacy with your fans. Instagram is the perfect platform for taking your fans on a journey inside your headquarters, your shipping central or give them a sneak peak from your photo-shoot. The rules are simple – there are non! All you need to remember is to stay true to your brand, true to your fans and have fun. On Instagram it is allowed to share images of your lunch buffet, your favorite colleague of the month, upload videos where you answer frequently asked questions or just run competitions. This is a playground where you through your mobile phone can show the atmosphere and share what goes on behind the scenes in your business. If you use Instagram in a honest and engaging way this is the perfect social network for building a personality surrounding your business or brand. For more tips on how to use Instagram for business you should check out this article.



Pinterest is a pinboard-style photo-sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, and hobbies. The users can easily browse other users pinboards for images, “re-pin” images to their own pinboards, or “like” and comment on the images they find interesting. Pinterest was launched back in 2010 and since then the number of active users has kept exploding. The most currently numbers state that Pinterest has more than 70 million users which is an increase of more than 20 million just this year. One of the latest features introduced by Pinterest is the possibility for businesses to either convert their existing personal accounts into business accounts, or start from scratch with an official business account for their brand.

Who uses Pinterest

Globally, Pinterest tend to attract primarily women in the age 30-49 and live in the rural or the suburban. They have a collage degree or above and a household income of $100.000 or above.

Which images get re-pinned on Pinterest

Studies show that images on Pinterest are 23 percent more likely to receive a repin if the image does not contain a face. Furthermore, images containing red, orange and brown colors are twice as likely to be repinned over blue colored images. When it comes to the image it self the medium lightness are 20 times more likely to be repinned than mostly black images and eight times more likely to be repined than white images. That said the most important detail is, that your image needs to be in focus and easy for the eyes to look at.

What is in it for my business

Pinterest is to some extend a huge shopping catalog that allows your products to take an active roll in the fans dreams and desires. Every time somebody pins an image from you website or just re-pins one from Pinterest they help you not only spread the awareness, but also distributes an image with a direct link back to you website. There are different ways to craft your business page. Some keep it clean with only their own products and divides it into boards like “summer 2014″ Spring 2014″ etc. while others make use of the mood boards which is basically that you build up an atmosphere surrounding your products. So instead of just showcasing your newest water tap you will build up an universe with bubble baths, a fire place, champagne and a beautiful winter landscape. The Pinterest universe lets you use your imagination and leaves plenty of room for you to promote your products just the way you planned to. You can mix and match as you please and do not have to ask for permission before re-pinning an image into your own boards. In that regard Pinterest is a wonderland for creatively thinking people as it is easy and fun to create your online catalog.

For tips on how to use Pinterest to promote your business you might find this article interesting.

What it all boils down to

Pinterest might be the perfect shopping catalog where you can showcase your products with picture perfect images that makes any online shopper or daydreamer slobber with desire while Pinning your images to their boards. This is the perfect setting for getting your URL and campaign/product images spread without spending any money. On the other hand you have Instagram, this network is much more casual and authentic. With the use of hashtags (#) you can engage in conversations or start your own conversations.

As you might have noticed these two social networks represent two different angles of the same branch. Unless you have the resources to handle both you might have to start out with just one. Both platforms work well together with other online networks however as Facebook and Instagram are linked through its ownership there are more synergies between those than between Facebook and Pinterest. That said Pinterest is known for driving more referral traffic than Google+, LinkedIn, and YouTube combined. And studies from 2012 show that 1 in 4 shoppers purchased an item directly from image-sharing sites such as Pinterest by clicking an image viewed.

The difference illustrated

To round up this comparison I want to roughly illustrate the differences by using two images.

Let us imagine that you are running a webshop that sells clothes. You need to promote the upcoming summer collection on the social networks. This is one way to do it:

The image you share on Instagram is taken with your camera phone, the quality is good enough to share and not necessarily added any filters. The image could be a peek behind the camera from the photo-shoot for the upcoming catalog. The text reads something like: “Fun day shooting the summer 2014 catalog #brandname #summer2014″

Pinterest on the other hand will be used to share an image that has been processed in Photoshop and is picture perfect. The text will often reflect what is on the image e.g. “name of dress” “summer collection 2014″ “brand name” and then a link to the webshop will be embedded in the image.

I hope you found this comparison informative. Do feel free to share a comment and let me know of you use either of these social networks, and if so how do you use it. Enjoy!

Author : Anne-Sofie

Anne-Sofie is a social media manager at Invendio. She is passionate about social media and is always seeking new information and keeping up with the online trends.

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