Decomposing Pinterest virality

Author: Dave Choate


2013 saw Pinterest grow explosively and quickly solidify its place as one of the most visited social networks. Despite this, relatively little comprehensive research has been done to understand why some pins are more popular than others. While human behaviors on networks like Facebook and Twitter are becoming increasingly illuminated, we sought to do the same for Pinterest by decomposing the underlying drivers of pin virality, paying special attention to the role of user networks, source domain traffic and social popularity, and the pinned content’s success on other social networks. Combining custom ethnographies with social analytics, we were able to gather a robust sample of inputs to develop a quantitative model of the factors that lead to maximum impressions of pinned content.

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