Pinterest vs. Instagram: What Should You Choose in 2022?

Pinterest vs. Instagram What Should You Choose in 2022

Pinterest vs. Instagram. Which is the right one for your business?

The question is very valid considering both social platforms rely on visual communication.

However, the way they’re both consumed differs on multiple levels.

For starters, Instagram is about sharing content, and Pinterest is about discovering content. Besides, Pinterest and Instagram users are drawn to completely different types of visual content—in terms of both subjects and aesthetics.

Some brands successfully rock their presence on both platforms.

However, since achieving success on social media is getting harder over time, some businesses are striving to understand which social networks they should focus their attention on.

Besides, let’s not forget that social media marketing requires a fair deal of money and time. As per a survey, firms expect their social spending to rise by 62% in the next 5 years.

So, in this article, we’ll compare and contrast both platforms on the basis of various parameters.

Should you have the resources for just one platform, you’ll be able to make an informed choice between the two. And if you want to market your brand on both platforms, this article will equip you with the nitty-gritty of doing so.

But first, let’s spare a few minutes to define both Instagram and Pinterest individually.

What is Instagram?

Instagram has taken the social media world by storm.

From businesses to celebrities to photographers to musicians, everybody is on Instagram nowadays. The platform has 1 billion monthly active users in 2021, and the growth spurt shows no signs of slowing down.

Instagram was launched in 2010, as a fun and easy way of capturing moments, and sharing them with friends and family. Originally, Instagram only allowed the posting of photos, but over time, the company expanded to videos.

Today, Instagram’s audience can browse through Stories, Reels, IGTV Videos, Guides, and more. The platform’s USP is that it’s easy to use. It helps users to stay connected with dear ones, along with giving brands a platform to showcase themselves.

So, exactly what makes for a ‘good’ Instagram post?

  • A high-quality visual
  • A unique caption
  • The right hashtags
  • Alignment with the overall tone and feel of your Instagram account

What is Instagram

Image via Instagram

What is Pinterest?

Launched in the same year as Instagram, Pinterest is a social network where users can save and share visuals of anything they find interesting. As of the second quarter of 2021, the platform had 454 million monthly active users.

Pinterest is sort of like a social bookmarking site.

Most Pinterest users come to the platform for inspiration. You can use Boards on Pinterest to discover, organize, and share ideas. You can also discover other users’ Boards on topics such as home decor, cooking, fashion, technology, and pretty much anything else you can imagine.

What’s more? Pinterest values the power of a closely-knit online community more than any other platform. It also prioritizes link sharing, making it a breeze for businesses to increase traffic to their site.

Now, let’s understand what makes for a good Pinterest post a.k.a ‘Pin:’

  • Visually pleasing vertical (portrait) imagery
  • A descriptive copy
  • A powerful text overlay
  • Relevant links

What is Pinterest

Image via Pinterest

Pinterest vs. Instagram: What are the Key Differences?

Most brands already have a firm grasp on Instagram and how it works. But very few of them really know how Pinterest works, let alone use it for their business.

If you too are one of them, it’s time to change that.

In this section of the Pinterest vs. Instagram review, we’ll compare both social media platforms on the basis of various parameters. Ready?

1. Purpose

The reasoning behind why people use Pinterest vs. Instagram will help you understand which platform you should invest your resources in.

As already mentioned in the previous section, Pinterest is primarily based on ideas and inspiration. Posts on Pinterest are called ‘pins,’ and you can view pins from various people and businesses on your home feed.

Every time you stumble upon an idea that sparks inspiration, you can save it to your Board.

When you learn about the way Pinterest works, it makes sense as to why it is primarily used to find and save ideas.

In the first few years, Pinterest users were more or less interested in niches such as home decor, gardening, and weddings.

But today, the range is much broader.

For instance, take a look at how varied the search results for ‘technology’ are:


Image via Pinterest

What’s more, Pinterest mostly works on the basis of user interests. So, to do well on the account, you need to feed on that.

Let’s say you want to post a picture of your dinner. To appeal to Pinterest’s audience, you’ll have to give more details about the meal.

Think about what you can offer: If you can’t share the whole recipe, can you give them a sneak peek into the cooking process? Can you share three secret ingredients?

Appeal to Pinterest Audience

Image via Pinterest

Remember—the goal is to create content that promotes education, innovation, and application.

As for Instagram, it is primarily designed for entertainment purposes.

So, you could post aesthetic pictures of your meals, not share any additional details, and still generate a fair deal of engagement.

This isn’t to say, of course, that people don’t use Instagram for ideas and information.

It’s just that that isn’t the primary purpose.

Moreover, an Instagram user might follow accounts from various niches. They may even follow celebrities to learn more about their lives.

Primary Purpose

Image via Instagram

How do users typically find accounts to follow on Instagram?

For starters, they can simply search for the person or organization in the search bar. Moreover, Instagram suggests accounts to follow based on users’ interests and friends.

In this light, the scope for brands on Instagram is much more. In addition to talking about their product or service, brands can even share behind-the-scenes content, boxing and unboxing videos, and more.

Scope for Brands on Instagram

Image via Instagram

2. Target Audience

You want to be where your target audience is, don’t you?

So, it matters to know the demographics for both Pinterest and Instagram.

Pinterest’s user base is predominantly female, with over 70% of its audience being women, and only close to 15% being men.

Target Audience

Image via Statista

This is why topics such as style tips, innovative recipes, and home decor inspiration tend to do well on the platform.

Pinterest is more popular with the older crowd, with 40% being 25-34-year-olds, and 39.6% being 35-44-year-olds.

So, if your product caters to millennial and middle-aged women, you should definitely consider Pinterest marketing.

Instagram on the other hand, has a pretty diverse audience when it comes to gender.

In the U.S, 43% of women use Instagram, as against 31% men.

What’s more, Instagram has a younger audience, as compared to Pinterest. The largest age group is 25-34-year-olds (31%), followed closely by 18-24-year-olds.

So, if your target audience comprises young millenials, Instagram marketing should definitely be on your radar.

3. Link Sharing

Next in this Pinterest vs. Instagram review, we’ll look at the platforms’ link sharing capabilities.

If one of your key goals is to generate more website traffic, you should definitely create a Pinterest account.

On Pinterest, most pins link to the original source of the image.

Link Sharing

Image via Pinterest

This is why it’s a great platform for eCommerce store owners and bloggers.

Instagram does not prioritize link sharing yet. You can only place links in your account bio. The only way to share links in posts is via paid ad campaigns.

That being said, there is definitely a way around this.

For instance, if your Instagram account has more than 10,000 followers, you can share links in your Instagram stories. If not, you can use bio link tools such as Linktree to drive traffic to multiple sites.

eCommerce Store

Image via Linktree

But clearly, Pinterest wins when it comes to link-sharing features.

4. Hashtags

Social media platforms want to make it easy for their users to discover relevant content.

And so, Instagram rolled out Hashtags. Hashtags are basically Instagram’s sorting and categorizing process.

It is a great way for brands to improve the visibility of their Instagram content.

By using the right hashtags, you are essentially putting yourself in front of your target audience.


Image via Instagram

Besides, brands can even get innovative and come up with their own hashtags. This will help boost brand awareness and improve engagement.

In contrast, while you can include hashtags in your pins, they won’t really make any difference. The Pinterest algorithm isn’t designed to sort content by hashtags.

Rather, you need to label your pins in order to improve visibility.

As for searchers on Pinterest, they can sort through the various categories on the search results page to narrow down their search.

Searchers on Pinterest

Image via Pinterest

5. Photo Editing

Instagram makes it a breeze for its users to share stunning visuals on the platform.

It allows you to do basic edits to your photos right inside the application.

Users can apply a range of filters, and adjust other elements such as brightness, saturation, contrast, and more.

Photo Editing

Image via Instagram

As for videos, you can even trim videos to your liking on Instagram itself.

In contrast, Pinterest does not offer any photo editing capabilities. This means that you need to finish off all your editing on an external application or platform before uploading content to Pinterest.

6. Shopping Features

If your business is in the eCommerce space, you’d probably want to know what kind of shopping features are supported by both platforms.

Pinterest makes it really easy for users to shop by mentioning the price and product information right under the pin. Besides, like already mentioned before, Pinterest allows users to link to external sites in each pin.

But perhaps one of Pinterest’s most ground-breaking shopping features is the Pinterest Lens.

All that users need to do?

Point their camera to an object or access their camera roll. Pinterest will then suggest products to buy based on the user’s interests and recommendations.

Pinterest’s Visual Search feature also helps its audience discover new products. Upon holding down on any pin, Pinterest will make smart product recommendations.

Shopping Features

Image via Pinterest

So, who really wins the Pinterest vs. Instagram debate in this aspect?

Let’s see how Instagram fares.

Instagram’s product tags allow businesses to tag specific products in their posts and stories, and direct users to their site.

how Instagram fares

Image via Instagram

In case you’re wondering about this feature’s efficacy, here’s a stat: over 90 million Instagram accounts have engaged with shopping in stories on a monthly basis, ever since its launch.

Moreover, platforms such as Shopify, Squarespace, and Facebook have seamless integrations with Instagram, which makes selling on the app even easier.

But Instagram’s most helpful shopping feature is the ‘shop’ button. With this tool, all the posts with Instagram product tags will be shown in a separate section of your profile.

The benefit of this feature?

It allows prospective customers to view your products in a traditional shopping layout, whilst retaining the high-quality ‘Instagram-worthy’ visuals.

7. Algorithm

Once you’ve decided which platform you want to target, you’ll need to understand how the algorithm works.

One of the main advantages of Pinterest is that pins have a really long shelf life.

What does that mean?

It isn’t unusual for you to continue receiving traffic to your pins months or even years after they’ve been shared.

This is why posting strategies don’t need to be time-sensitive when it comes to Pinterest. Users can even bulk schedule weeks of content in advance.

And remember—the first thing Pinterest users on opening the platform is the discovery feed. Here, the algorithm presents a chosen few Pins based on the user’s interests and past searches.

Pinterest Algorithm

Image via Pinterest

In this light, the best way you can maximize reach is by creating engaging content that resonates with your target audience.

In reverse, the Instagram algorithm prioritizes ‘momentary’ representation.

Posts on the platform generally only get engagement for 24 hours. But if your post performs well, i.e., if a large number of people comment, share, or save, Instagram might show it for a little longer.

This is the reason why ‘when’ you post on Instagram carries a lot of weight.

It is pretty common (and necessary) for brands to build elaborate social media calendars. A good practice here is to account for when most of your audience is active. You can view the same on the app itself:

build elaborate social media calendars

Image via Instagram

Content Curation

Next in our Pinterest vs. Instagram review, let’s take a look at what kind of content stands out on both platforms.

In order to earn a high ROI on Instagram, you should work towards creating a personal experience for your followers. The Instagram app allows users to create a variety of content.

There are posts, stories, reels, guides, filters, and more. Make sure you use all of them so as to not get monotonous.

Brands should also spend some time curating well-thought, meaningful captions.

As per studies, posts with long captions get more engagement on Instagram.

What’s more, content with human faces performs better on Instagram. And since Instagram likes to keep things simple, posts with a single dominant color have an upper hand.

Content Curation

Image via Instagram

On Pinterest, your goal should be to create strategic themed boards. The idea is to create as beautiful a visual experience for your audience as possible.

Another important point to note is that content without human faces perform equally well, or sometimes even better on Pinterest.

After all, the searcher’s focus on Pinterest is primarily on the product.

You can see for yourself:

Pinterest is primarily on the product

Image via Pinterest

What’s more, images with various dominant, vibrant colors generally have precedence on Pinterest.

9. Measurement

Pinterest vs. Instagram—which platform is easier for getting a pulse on content performance?

On Instagram, metrics such as likes, comments, saves, and followers are generally important. Keeping close tabs on these will help you gauge how your Instagram posts are performing.

If you have a business account on Instagram, you can easily view performance for various metrics within the app:

Pinterest Measurement

Image via Instagram

On Pinterest, on the other hand, growth looks a little different.

Of course, you should be tracking engagement i.e., clicks, close-ups, saves, etc. This will help you understand how pinners are conducting searches, and who is really finding you.

However, considering you’re using Pinterest to drive traffic to an external site, you should also be monitoring that site’s traffic, click-through rates, and revenue generation.

If you have a business account on Pinterest, you can view analytics within the platform—just like on Instagram.


1. Which is better: Pinterest vs. Instagram?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the Pinterest vs. Instagram question. It completely depends on your business requirements and goals.

For instance, if your goal is to increase traffic to your website, Pinterest is a goldmine. And if you want to integrate your online eCommerce store into a social platform, Instagram is a great pick.

2. Is Pinterest still relevant in 2021?

Contrary to popular belief, Pinterest is still extremely relevant in 2021.

Here are some of the many benefits of Pinterest for businesses:

  • Increased brand awareness
  • A closely-knit online community
  • Improved website traffic
  • New quality leads
  • More sales

3. What are the similarities between Instagram and Pinterest?

Both Instagram and Pinterest are primarily visual platforms, where users can share photos and videos for others to see. What’s more, businesses can market their products using paid advertising on both platforms.

The main difference lies in the reason why people use the platforms. While Instagram is about sharing, Pinterest is about discovering.

4. What is Pinterest used for?

Pinterest is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. It is a visual discovery engine that people use for seeking inspiration and learning about topics they’re interested in.

As for businesses, Pinterest is primarily used for generating website traffic, and to grow a vibrant online community.

Pinterest vs. Instagram: Which Platform Will You Choose?

Long story short, both Instagram and Pinterest hold heaps of marketing potential for businesses. Ultimately, it’s for you to decide which platform is more valuable for your brand.

Here are some questions you should ask yourself before making a choice:

  • What does my target audience look like?
  • What is my primary goal?
  • What kind of product am I selling?
  • What kind of content do I want to create?

Hopefully, this will help you make a well-informed decision between Pinterest and Instagram. And if you think you should leverage both, go for it.

Should you need any help managing your Instagram and Pinterest accounts, you can always avail of our social media management services. We specialize in building brands and driving engagement on social channels.

Andrea Angioli

Andrea Angioli

Andrea Angioli is the CEO and Co-Founder of Americanoize, an influencer marketing agency that specializes in the niches of luxury fashion, travel, beauty, and wellness.Hailing from an Italian family of directors and movie producers, Andrea has seen different sides of the entertainment industry. He works with celebrities for endorsement frequently for magazine shoots and manages over 10 international photographers.In the past, he has also worked on TV shows, photo campaigns, documentaries, adv photo shoots, music videos, and events.

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