It’s beautiful, it’s addictive, and now Pinterest is having its glorious hockey stick moment. TechCrunch has attained exclusive data from comScore showing Pinterest just hit 11.7 million unique monthly U.S. visitors, crossing the 10 million mark faster than any other standalone site in history.
In fact, users are spending so much time sharing their favorite images that now only Facebook and Tumblr have more social media time on site than Pinterest. Who’s propelling its rise? 18-34 year old upper income women from the American heartland. Maybe we should call it blow-dryer growth.
According to comScore, the average Pinterest user spend 98 minutes per month on the site, compared to 2.5 hours on Tumblr, and 7 hours on Facebook. If you don’t count sites like Google+ or new Yahoo channels that have built in user bases, comScore’s data shows Pinterest would be the fastest site of any kind to hit 10 million monthly uniques in the U.S.
[Update: comScore reported to us that Pinterest was the fastest independent site to hit 10 million monthly uniques in the U.S., and that according to its data, Formspring never reached 10 million monthly active users in the U.S. and instead peaked around 8+ million.
Unfortunately it's not really possible to directly compare separate traffic measurement services such as comScore and Google Analytics as they frequently differ. Other sources of data than comScore might show Pinterest and Formspring's growth differently. This article is based on comScore's data in the U.S. alone, and the headline and article have been updated to reflect this as it wasn't entirely clear at first.]
This proves the power of the interest graph, and could convince more startups to build around what people care about instead of the social graph of who they care about.
Unlike most web startups, Pinterest’s core user base is not the typical early adopter set from the west and east coasts of the United States. While the Pacific and North East regions contained the most Pinterest users in May, now its strongholds are in the East South Central and West North Central States, such as Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, and Mississippi.
Next, the question will be when should Pinterest start to seriously monetize. branded pins, and brand pages are all options, and the site may already be earning money through affiliate links. Suddenly, it seems the investors that got in at that rumored $200 million valuation, and especially that $40 million valuation from September pinned a real winner.