Home Platforms Pinterest Filed Its S-1 – Here’s How It Stacks Up Against Peers

Pinterest Filed Its S-1 – Here’s How It Stacks Up Against Peers


Pinterest filing its S-1 late last week makes it the last of the social media walled gardens to go public.

The OG Facebook might still be in a class of its own, but Pinterest bears comparison to Snap, which filed its S-1 in 2017, and Twitter, which filed a lifetime ago in 2013.

Notably, while Snap’s revenue exploded with a 600% increase, and Twitter’s revenue jumped 198% increase the year it filed, Pinterest had more modest gains around 60%.

Another thing to note is that Pinterest’s ARPU is pretty healthy, particularly in the United States, where it’s $9.04. That could validate its positioning as a platform that actually drives purchase intent.

The following is a cheat sheet comparing Pinterest and its walled garden brethren.

S-1 filed: March, 2019

Summary: A search and visual discovery platform

Revenues: Pinterest had a 60% revenue increase between 2017 and 2018, from $472.9 million to $755.9 million.

Monthly active users (MAUs): 250 million. Pinterest also looks at how many MAUs are also weekly active users (WAUs). By December 2018, 57% of monthly users were also weekly users.


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Pinterest’s growth in MAUs is mostly international. For instance, its US Q4 2018 MAU count was 82 million compared to 76 million during the same period in 2017 (an 8% YoY increase). By contrast, Pinterest’s international Q4 2018 MAU count was 184 million compared to 139 million during the same period in 2017 (a 32% YoY increase).

Average revenue per user (ARPU): Although Pinterest shows impressive international growth, it’s most successful at monetizing US audiences. Its US ARPU in 2018 was $9.04 (up 47% compared to 2017), compared to an international ARPU of $0.25 (up 22%). Global ARPU was $3.14.

Cost of revenue: Between 2017 and 2018, Pinterest’s cost of revenue jumped 35%, from $178,664 million to $241,584 million.


S-1 filed: February 2017

Summary: A camera application

Revenues: Between 2015 and 2016, Snap’s revenue increased 600%, from $58.7 million to $404.5 million.

Daily active users: Unlike Pinterest and Twitter, Snap focuses on daily active users (DAUs). It had 158 million when it filed its S-1.

ARPU: Snap’s global average ARPU, in the three months that ended on Dec. 31, 2016, was $1.05. Its’ North America ARPU in those three months was $2.15 compared to $0.65 for the same period in 2015.

Cost of revenue: Between 2015 and 2016, Snap’s cost of revenue shot up 123%, from $82.2 million to $183.7 million.


S-1 filed: October 2013

Summary: A platform for real-time conversation 

Revenues: Between 2011 and 2012, Twitter’s revenues went from $106.3 million to $316.9 million, a 198% increase

MAUs: 215 million globally

ARPU: Twitter looked at how much revenue it generated per timeline view. In the three months ended June 2013, it got $0.80, up 25% YoY. That amounted to an average of $2.17 per timeline view in the United States (up 26%), and $0.30 internationally (up 111%).

Cost of revenue: Between 2011 and 2012, cost of revenue increased 108%, from $61.8 million to $128.8 million

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