Business Insider Edition

Snapchat was overtaken by Pinterest in US users last year. But the real threat is coming from China's TikTok and no one knows how fast it's growing.

Tyler Sonnemaker , Business Insider US
 Jan 15, 2020, 09:28 PM
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 18: Employees of the on
Employees of the online image board Pinterest Inc., including CEO Ben Silbermann (center), ring the Opening Bell at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on the morning that Pinterest Inc. makes its initial public offering (IPO) on April 18, 2019 in New York City. Pinterest has priced its shares for the IPO at $19 apiece Wednesday evening, two dollars above the high end of the range. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
  • Pinterest surpassed Snapchat as the third-largest social media network in the US, according to a report from eMarketer.
  • EMarketer predicted that Pinterest will "continue to stay ahead of Snapchat in the coming years."
  • The report said that despite Snap's 2019 comeback and popularity with younger users, Pinterest's "universal appeal" helped it pull ahead this year.
  • Shares of Pinterest surged as much as 12% on Tuesday morning after the report was released.
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Pinterest has surpassed Snapchat to become the third-largest social media network in the US, according to a new report from eMarketer.

The news is a significant shake-up in the social media pecking order, and could signal that Snapchat has begun to lose its luster among the millennial users who for years have given the social media app a distinct cachet.

Pinterest's number of monthly users grew to 82.4 million in 2019, up 9.1% from the previous year, beating out Snapchat's 80.2 million, a 5.9% increase, according to the report's estimates. Pinterest claimed the third spot behind No.2-ranked Instagram, and Facebook, which reigned as the most popular social network in the US last year.

The report caused Pinterest's stock to jump as much as 12% on Tuesday morning after the report's release.

"While Snapchat has a young core audience that it caters to, Pinterest has a more universal appeal, and it's made significant gains in a wide range of age groups," said Nazmul Islam, an analyst at eMarketer, which is owned by Business Insider's parent company, Insider Inc.

But the report does not include user numbers for China's TikTok, which has enjoyed explosive growth among teens and young adults over the past year. In December, CNBC cited an estimate from App Annie that TikTok had 625 million monthly users on a global basis, but it's not clear how many users the app has in the US.

In its report, eMarketer predicted that Pinterest would remain ahead of Snap for the coming years. But if the TikTok surge continues, both Pinterest and Snapchat could be soon be overtaken by the Chinese app.

Shares of Snap remained flat following the report's release.

Following a 2018 redesign that initially caused backlash among users, Snapchat seemed to be making a comeback in 2019 thanks to popular augmented reality "lenses" like its gender-swap filter, earning it praise from investors.

But Pinterest's efforts to convince investors that its platform is a "visual discovery tool" more akin to Google than Snapchat seem to be paying off. The eMarketer report shows that the strong user growth Pinterest saw ahead of its public offering last April has continued on an upward trajectory.

Pinterest's wide appeal across ages helped it surpass Snapchat as the third-largest social media network in the US in 2019.

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