Pinterest Tops Other Apps and Social Platforms in Emotionally Connecting With Users

New study touted the company's bond with women, particularly millennials

41% of women in the U.S. use Pinterest, versus just 16% of men. Pinterest

Pinterest prides itself on its visual search capabilities and on being a prime destination for people searching for ideas. Now, it’s proved its ability to develop emotional connections with its users.

According to the Brand Intimacy 2019 Study from brand relationships agency MBLM, Pinterest topped the list of applications and social platforms, moving up from the No. 3 spot in 2018.

This year’s top 10 was rounded out by Spotify, Pandora, Instagram, Apple Music (No. 1 in 2018), Facebook, Snapchat, Uber, Airbnb and Venmo.


MBLM teamed up with Praxis Research Partners on a survey of 6,200 people aged 18 through 64 in the U.S., Mexico and the United Arab Emirates, using factor analysis, structural equation modeling and other analytic techniques to “better understand which levers need to be pulled to build intimacy between their brand and consumers.”

Pinterest—which went public April 18—doubled its score to 44.9 this year from 22 in 2018, and it was the No. 1 brand in the category among women, millennials, users over 35 and across both income categories (under and over $75,000 annually). Spotify was the No. 1 app/social platform for men.

MBLM noted that Pinterest scored well among women in what it calls fusing, or the process of a brand and a person becoming “inexorably linked and co-identified,” and the agency added that this was not the case among men. However, the tide may be turning, as social media management platform Hootsuite reported earlier this year that while 41% of women in the U.S. use Pinterest versus just 16% of men, half of the app’s new sign-ups in 2018 were men.

Pinterest also performed strongly in the bonding and fusing stages, which MBLM described as the most intense stage of intimacy, when trusting relationships between brands and people are established.

The agency said this demonstrates a willingness by people to trust the Pinterest brand, speculating that factors may include interactions on its platform being less likely to lead to divisive communications, as well as Pinterest’s relatively controversy-free existence, unlike, say, Facebook.

“The growing percentages of users in the more intense stages of brand intimacy indicate that Pinterest isn’t just expanding its audience—it’s also deepening it,” MBLM wrote in the report. “This is unique to the category, especially among social media brands, which often try to appeal to everyone and end up sacrificing emotional closeness with their users.”

Pinterest led apps and social platforms in enhancement, which MBLM described as the feeling that a brand makes a user feel smarter, more capable and more connected, as well as in ritual, or when that brand becomes a vitally important part of a person’s daily life.

“Pinterest has proved its ability to build emotional relationships with its users,” MBLM concluded. ” … Choosing to use an app or social platform has virtually no costs and, thus, emotional attachment is an important tool needed to win over consumers. Brands that are able to create and maintain brand intimacy like Pinterest will have a unique advantage.” David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.