Pinterest has become the dark horse in the U.S. election season. First Lady Michelle Obama this week joined as part of her husband's re-election campaign, with three boards — Father's Day, Around the White House, and Great Memories. Michelle’s account, like her husband’s, is run by Obama 2012 campaign staff, with original "pins" signed "-mo."
Mrs. Obama joins the President (the only other account she's following), Vice President Joe Biden ... and Ann Romney, who helped raise awareness in Pinterest among her fellow Mormon wives while tacitly supporting hubby Mitt's presidential run.
While pinning may now be seen as a precursor to winning, Pinterest is on fire in Latin America, the most socially-engaged market anywhere and home to the fastest growing group of "pinners" on the planet.
As Pinterest’s local audience has increased eightfold in four months, beginning 2012 with 153,000 visitors and reaching 1.3 million in April, according to new research from comScore. (Click here for an infographic based on comScore's February findings about Pinterest.)
The challenges of social networking are unique in Latin America where multiple countries come with their own characteristics. Puerto Rico has the most engaged Pinterest users, followed by Argentina, and Brazil, due to size, accounts for 27.8% of regional visitors to the site.
Consistent with its appeal elsewhere, Latin American women accounted for 62.5% of page views and 65.2% of time spent on Pinterest.
”Even though Pinterest currently reaches just 1% of the regional audience, its impressive growth since the beginning of the year suggests it could quickly become a key player in Latin America’s vibrant social scene,” says comScore’s SVP for Latin America, Alejandro Fosk. ”Not only does nearly 100 percent of the Latin American Internet population visit social networking destinations each month, but they also spend a lot of time on the sites.”
In the competitive landscape, Facebook has overtaken Google’s Orkut in Brazil and now accounts for 1 in every 4 minutes spent online in Latin America, with an average visitor spending 7.7 hours on the site in April.
With 114.5 million visitors, Facebook has grown 37% year-on-year. Twitter had 27.4m Latin American visitors, while Orkut ranked third with 25.7 million visitors (almost exclusively from Brazil), and Tumblr was the fastest-growing destination of the top 10, doubling its audience in the past year to 7.2 million visitors.
“As usual," writes TheNextWeb, "these numbers come with a big caveat, which is that comScore currently doesn’t measure Internet access from cyber cafés and mobile devices – a sizable portion of the Latin American market. Still, it provides an interesting picture of some recent trends, such as Pinterest’s growth.”
A geographic analysis of the audience found that Brazil accounted for 27.8 percent of regional visitors to Pinterest.com, followed by Mexico (16.1 percent) and Argentina (10.2 percent). Puerto Rico was home to the most engaged pinners with visitors averaging 24.3 minutes on the site during April, followed by Argentina (15.3 minutes per visitor) and Mexico (12.1 minutes per visitor).
A separate report from comScore, the 2012 Latin America Digital Future in Focus, puts the region in context for exponential growth on all fronts.
Key findings include:
• Latin America's online population grew faster than any other global region in 2011, rising 15% to 129.3 million visitors in December 2011.
• Social networking accounted for nearly 30% of online minutes at the end of the year, an increase of 9.5% over the past year.
• Entertainment sites grew 14% to reach nearly 97% of all online users in the region.
• Online video viewing grew by double digits across Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Chile.
• Online retail visits jumped 30% with comparison shopping having the highest penetration.
• Mobile phones and tablets continue to account for a growing amount of digital traffic, with Puerto Rico leading the region with 7.7% of all digital traffic consumed away from a personal computer.
"The rapid adoption of these behaviors presents a world of new opportunities to digital marketers," said Fosk. "In order to capitalize on this burgeoning digital economy, it's important for brands and publishers to understand the key trends driving growth today so they can determine where to invest and how to position their offerings to the needs of the marketplace."