Pinterest executive on publisher opportunities

Matt Crystal, head of international at Pinterest, will address the audience at the Digital Innovators’ Summit on 23 March, and give insights and tips for how to make the most of this visual discovery platform. The DIS takes place on 23-24 March in Berlin, Germany.

Beate Borstelmann, partner at eMediaSF, co-hosts and co-organisers of the DIS with FIPP and VDZ, interviewed Crystal. He shared what makes Pinterest unique, why it’s not just for women and where he sees the platform headed in the future.

Why should publishers pay attention to Pinterest?

Pinterest is quickly becoming an important part of the audience development and engagement strategy for publishers. Publisher content is a great fit for Pinterest, and because every Pin links back to its source, we drive significant traffic to publishers of all kinds. Pinterest has now become the first or second referral source for many lifestyle publishers in the US.

Is it still true that the typical Pinterest user is a young to middle-aged female who is into crafts, fashion and cooking? 

Pinterest is a platform for men and women. It’s all about interests, and with 30 billion Pins that have been saved by Pinners to more than 750 million boards, there is truly something for everyone and every interest. Whether you’re interested in outdoors, autos, design, you’ll find amazing content. Females do make up the majority of Pinners in the US but we’re seeing more gender balance internationally, and our male audience is growing quickly around the world. One-third of all sign-ups now come from men.   

What would you say to publishers whose primary audience is male and whose topics are different – is Pinterest not for them?

With the male audience on Pinterest now growing faster than the female audience, we say this is a great time for publishers who focus on males as their target audience. There are millions of men on Pinterest looking for all types of content, and publishers have an excellent opportunity to connect with those men to build their audiences.   

How is Pinterest different from Facebook or Twitter?

Pinterest isn’t a social network. Pinterest is a place for people to plan projects and act on them. Social networks are about connecting with friends and Pinterest is about exploring your interests. Another important distinction is that Pinterest is all about the future. Social networks tend to focus on the past or present, such as documenting moments with friends. Pinterest is about helping people discover the things they love, and inspiring them to go do those things in real life.  

Give us one thing that publishers should absolutely do when they want to actively use Pinterest, and one thing they should absolutely avoid doing.

Add the Pin It button to your website. This Pin It button enables your existing audience to save your content to Pinterest. Since each Pin is repinned an average of 11 times, every user who adds your content to Pinterest is helping to get your content in front of many more people, creating engagement and traffic for you. 

One important misconception to avoid is focusing all of your efforts on building followers.  We recommend the most valuable metric to analyse is engagement – both clicks and re-pins. This data will provide publishers with the best insight as to what content is driving the most value.  By increasing the numbers around clicks and re-pins, publishers will know the content they are Pinning is relevant to their audiences.

How do you see Pinterest’s usage and role evolve in the future?

Our goal is to make Pinterest a tool that anyone can use to discover and do things they might not have even known were possible.  We’re focusing on the things that interest people rather than their demographics so we can shape what discovery and do means. Pinterest got its start through lifestyle categories in the US such as food, fashion, and home decor, and we’re thrilled to have such a passionate community around these interests. We also believe that Pinterest can ultimately work as a discovery tool for interests and activities around travel, fitness, camping, cars, outdoor sports, and much more. 

If you can still make it to Berlin for the DIS, come see Matt Crystal and a host of other top speakers. More information at

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