State of Digital Publishing has learned that the image-sharing site Pinterest is gaining page views, while Facebook is losing them. An estimate from eMarketer proposes that Pinterest growth will reach 69.0 million users in 2017 in the U.S. alone, as opposed to last year’s estimated 63.2 million users, leaving SODP to ask what’s behind the rise of Pinterest, and what will that mean for Facebook?

Pinterest vs. Facebook traffic: A look at the numbers

Although Facebook’s user base is projected to rise 2.7 percent this year to hit an estimated 171.4 million U.S. users, the social media site’s page views are on a decline. In the latter portion of 2016, Facebook page views hit 25 billion. Sounds like a lot, but in the previous year, the page views clocked in at nearly 30 billion — amounting to a decline of approximately 5 billion page views.

Pinterest, on the other hand, has seen a jump in page view numbers. In December 2016, page views were up to 562 million; the year before, they were at 511 million. While the site’s millions of views are still far behind Facebook’s billions, the jump in views demonstrates the rising popularity of Pinterest.

Who uses Pinterest?

While it’s projected that Pinterest will bring in new users from every demographic, 22.1 percent of current Pinterest users are between the ages of 35 and 44. According to eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson, 2017 is likely to see an increase in the number of teen Pinterest users. More females than males use the site; however, the ratio of female to male users isn’t as dramatic as you might think, as the number of male users is going up as well.

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Are apps to blame for Facebook’s TRAFFIC decline?

While we at SODP don’t think the decline in Facebook’s page views spells disaster for the site, it does raise the question of why views have dropped.

Some industry experts propose that the drop in Facebook’s page views could be attributed to the rising popularity of apps as opposed to browser-based social media use. At SODP, we speculate that one reason for the decline in page views is because the Hitwise numbers only take into account page views from browser-based use, not app use.

If page views from the Facebook smartphone app were also counted, we can only assume the numbers would be different. It’s a possibility that more users are accessing Facebook on their phones, while Pinterest users may favor browsing the site on their computers.

Tell us what you think

We’re eager to hear what SODP readers have to say about Facebook vs. Pinterest. Which site do you use more often, and why? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at vahe@stateofdigitalpublishing.com.

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