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Pinterest growth may be slowing (shock, horror)

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Lauren Granger
While studying towards her Bachelor of Journalism degree at Rhodes University, Lauren gave into her fascination with everything digital. As she was more interested in creeping... More

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Pinterest has been on a roll recently, as pins and sign-ups grew faster than most could believe. It was the second fastest website to hit 10 million unique visits (ever) and then went on to drive more referral traffic than Twitter. But, according to some indicators, the social media site is no longer gaining users as quickly as it once did.

pinterest traffic graph compete

Pinterest isn’t by any means flat lining, but the hype may be receding a bit. According to Compete, the site only gained 1.95 million unique visitors from February to March 2012.  Yes, ‘only’ 1.95 million. It still sounds pretty good, until you compare it to their January-February figures: they gained 5 million visitors that month, and 3.9 million the month before that.

Ok so Compete only shows US visitors, but the Google stats also show a slump in traffic and App Data analytics suggest that the Pinterest Facebook app isn’t being used as much as it used to be, as monthly average users (MAUs) are down.

pinterest monthly average users appdata graph

The question is, why? Well, Pinterest redesigned their profile pages in March, and a lot of users complained that the update detracted from some of the best parts of pin boards. Now the cover images give your most recent pin more attention (and can cut off part of the image) and you can only see the 5 most recent pins instead of the previous nine. But users generally don’t like it when sites change things around. It’s not even a major overhaul (Facebook Timeline, anyone?) and it’s still easy to navigate, so it’s doubtful many users would ditch Pinterest just because of the update.

The Pinterest iPhone app did have a few log in issues, but these were promptly fixed earlier this month. With all the recent hype and press coverage, perhaps the traffic increased as floods of new users tried their hand at pinning, but now it is starting to decrease as people decide if they’re really going to dedicate more of their time to yet another social media site?