Social platforms can be trendy. Outside of the big boys — Facebook, Twitter, YouTube — there’s a second tier that trades the title of the Next Big Thing. Lately Pinterest has had its turn in the spotlight.
Yet for many news publishers, which often tend to judge social platforms by the hard metric of traffic referrals, Pinterest is a dud. Publishers like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Self are experimenting with it but overall Pinterest is not driving that much traffic.
A recent study from Buzzfeed underscored this. It examined traffic to the Buzzfeed Network, which reaches 300 million people each month across more than 125 publishers, over the first half of 2012. Facebook and Twitter were, as you’d expect, juggernauts, accounting for 53 million and 21 million referrals respectively in June. Pinterest, not so much. It sent publishers a mere 110,000 referrals, far less than the other social networks, including Reddit, which referred a little more than 5 million. Perhaps even more alarming, that flow is going in the wrong direction, dropping nearly two thirds from two months earlier.