Has Pinterest topped out?

You may be familiar with the Bass Diffusion Model. In short, there’s a predictable function that is very effective at forecasting the adoption curves of new products. The trickiest part of using the Bass Diffusion Model is estimating at what point saturation occurs. Saturation just means where the number of adopters levels out. In the image below, growth started decelerating around 4 years in and certainly flattened out at year 7.

I don’t have access to Pinterests own analytics tools. So, like you, I have to rely on public, third party, estimations of what’s going on.

Alexa is reporting a flattening reach curve. You can see that below. Most web traffic follows what digital analysts call ‘an elephant curve’. Because there’s a trunk that happens on the weekends. Use your imagination folks. (Besides, it’s just a friendlier way of saying sinusoidal.) It looks as though it’s flattened.

You can see Quantcast as well shows a very distinctive, very nice Bass Diffusion curve. It has since flattened.

In terms of adopter growth, Pinterest may have topped out. All those who are ever going to make regular (monthly) use of it have discovered it. At least, in the domestic United States market. And, now that Pinterest has found its market, it’s largely about intensification of use of the platform. The great thing about intensification is that the upward limits are much loftier, and, much more sensitive to the quality of the user experience as well as feature growth within the platform.

Don’t take this post as hating on Pinterest. I’m not. I’m rooting for them. It marks a period in the networks lifecycle when, typically, it really has to open up an API to assist in feature development. They certainly can’t do it alone. It’s a special time for them.

Congratulations to the team for scaling this baby. Well done. Now, some of the real fun begins.


I’m Christopher Berry
I’m at Authintic.