Pinterest is for Creativity; Facebook for Communication

VisionCritical-SocNet-Characteristics-According-to-Users-July2013Pinterest users (in the UK, USA and Canada) tend to find the social network useful for satisfying a range of creative urges, while Facebook users are more drawn to matters of communication and connectedness, details Vision Critical [download page] in a new study. Asked their agreement with a number of social network characteristics, Pinterest users were most likely to agree that it’s useful for ideas and projets (80%), that it’s easy to find things that interest them (75%) and that it’s inspiring to see what other people pin (64%).

Facebook users, though, were most likely to agree that they like seeing what their friends post (69%) and that it makes them feel connected to their friends (63%). Interestingly, while Pinterest and Facebook users were fairly clear in their attitudes towards their respective sites, Twitter users appeared more equivocal – or perhaps even ambivalent. Users of the microblogging site were most likely to agree that they like seeing what their friends post and that it’s easy to find things that interest them. Even so, only 41% agreed with those statements.

When it comes to commerce-related attitudes, Pinterest users were most likely to agree that they make smarter purchases due to the site (28%, versus 13% for Facebook and 20% for Twitter). They were also most likely to say they make more purchases thanks to the site (24%, versus 11% for Facebook and 16% for Twitter).

So how do the various networks influence users’ purchases? The study separately asked the question of users who had ever purchased an item – either in-store or online – after sharing or favoriting it. (In this case, sharing and favoriting refers to: pinning/repinning/liking it on Pinterest; sharing/liking/commenting on it on Facebook; or tweeting/retweeting/or favoriting in on Twitter).

Among Pinterest purchasers, the network’s influence was most pronounced in providing additional information on the product (43%). Among Facebook purchasers, though, the network was most influential in alerting purchases to a sale or deal (37%). Finally, Twitter purchasers said the site primarily was useful identifying to them where they could purchase the product (38%).

Notably, the social network proved to be the source of discovery of the product for more than 30% of each group of respondents, second on the list of purchase influences for each.

About the Data: The data in the report is drawn from online surveys conducted over 17 months (February 2012 to June 2013). In total, 5,657 interviews specifically about
social media purchasing were completed across three countries using Vision Critical’s Market Panels in the USA (Springboard US), Canada (Angus Reid Forum), and the UK (Springboard UK).