Ready for my 2020 Pinterest marketing recap?

2020 has been a year. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that we have all been caught off-guard again and again this year. 

And Pinterest is no exception; the platform has gone through many changes in 2020. So, today, as we close out this crazy year, I wanted to talk through what we saw as Pinterest marketers this past year, including the new features that were introduced and what we’ve learned. 

But first, I want to let you know about a gift we have for you!

For the past several years, we have offered a free Pinterest marketing planner for our people. But this year, we wanted to provide you with a way to make the most out of your Pinterest marketing using keywords.

So, we created the Pinterest Keyword Planning Guide. This 18-page guide will give you hundreds of suggested keywords, along with seasonal keywords and the keywords you need for your niche. 

Of course, our planner isn’t going away! So if you’ve never used it, it’s still a great tool to get you started with your Pinterest marketing. Grab your planner as well when you download your Keyword Guide!

woman sitting at desk filling out Pinterest worksheet - text "Pinterest marketing in 2020: A Recap".

2020 Pinterest Marketing Recap


Explosive Growth

We haven’t experienced a pandemic in this country in 100 years, so we have all had to make many adjustments in our lives. Likewise, online businesses have dealt with the pandemic, for good and for bad.

Over the past many months, Pinterest has experienced record numbers of users on their platform. In March, they saw more searches in a single weekend, globally, than ever before in their history. 

Pinterest brought in $443 million in revenue in 2020, $60 million more than their projected revenue. And in October, monthly users jumped to over 440 million. This growth was a direct result of COVID-19, increased global adoption, a huge surge in paid ads, and users looking for IOS home screen personalization ideas. 

It’s safe to say that 2020 was an amazing year for Pinterest. Let’s talk about these changes in detail and how they affected us. 

Pinterest Changes and New Features in 2020

Trends– Not only did Pinterest start to provide trending search terms for the United States, but they also provided that information for the UK and Canada. This was super beneficial and incredibly helpful for Pinterest marketers.

Verified Merchant Program– Pinterest launched their Shopify app which coincided with their new Verified Merchant Program. Prior to this launch, uploading catalog merchandise was a royal pain for shop owners. This app was a game-changer for them. 

Video Pins– Views on video pins increased three times over the previous year. We heard over and over from our clients that they were experiencing gains in their pin views and clicks. 

Monthly Breakdown of Changes

March and April were great months for shop owners on Pinterest, as Pinterest made it even easier for their users to find more places to shop. And shop owners experienced a boost with the Verified Merchant Program.

In May, Pinterest launched the Organize feature that includes project due dates and notes. I’ll be honest. I tried it one time for a specific project but I haven’t even thought about this feature since then.

June came along and Pinterest continued building the shopping experience on the platform with the Shop tab. June was also the month that Lens visual search results started to be integrated with shopping options (sense a theme yet?).

July was a month that made a lot of Pinterest marketers really unhappy as it was the great Pinterest algorithm change of 2020. Pinterest began to drip story pins and video pins into the users’ feeds in order to diversify the content that users was seeing. 

On July 31st, an article came out describing the massive increase in Gen Z and male users on Pinterest. Check out this article on how Pinterest grew and the people who are responsible for that growth

August brought an update in the ability to shop more inclusively. You could now match skin tone and experience more diversification in your feed, especially in the beauty arena. 

September was a big month for Pinterest. This month we saw the official launch of Story pins

Some people had been using or seeing Story pins well before that, but the official company announcement about the feature. happened this month

*A note on Story pins- some people had them and then the feature disappeared for a while. Some people haven’t seen them come back yet. Don’t worry, Pinterest is steadily rolling them out to everyone. Just hang on and you should see them back on your account soon.

October brought a massive sweep of business profile changes. Your profile shrunk to only 3 tabs: Created, Saved, and Shop (if you had a shop feature).

All in all, there were 10 updates to the platform since March. Be sure to catch the entire episode to hear about all of them.

2020 Pinterest Changes That Will Likely NOT Continue into 2021

As with any online or brick and mortar business, not every change is set in stone or likely to continue for the long-term. So, which of the changes on Pinterest that happened in 2020 can we expect to continue past this crazy year?

Early holiday searching likely won’t be as dramatic in 2021 as it was this year. In a crazy year, crazy things happen…like massive searches for Christmas as early as July. But it is highly unlikely that those early holiday searches will continue into 2021. 

Pet-related searches have skyrocketed this year because COVID-19 sent people home. When you have millions of people home nearly all the time, those people adopt a lot of pets. But now that we pretty much know who’s going to be working from home permanently, there’s no reason to expect a continued surge in pet ownership. As a consequence, pet searches should decline next year.

I also doubt that we will see another doubling of Pinterest users in 2021. March and April of 2021 shouldn’t bring a massive influx of new users to the platform like March and April of 2020 did. Pinterest is still experiencing huge growth in terms of new users, but not like the exponential pattern that occurred from March to June.

Here’s the thing with all these changes – your marketing results will also change.

For some of our clients, their site traffic quadrupled in 2020. When you start to analyze your traffic for this year, be sure to account for the crazy things that were happening this year, and don’t expect your results to be the same in 2021. 

2020 Pinterest Changes That Are Likely to Here to Stay

While some of the 2020 Pinterest changes will disappear in 2021, there are some other changes that are likely here to stay. 

Online shopping will never be the same. I am recording this episode on Cyber Monday and I can tell you with certainty that Cyber Monday of 2020 is unlike any Cyber Monday ever before. There will be billions of dollars of increased online spending as we finish out 2020. 

Gen Z is responsible for much of this increased spending. But get this — more Boomers than ever are now shopping online, too!

Pinterest’s decision to make its platform more shopping friendly was a huge boon to their business in 2020. 

Decreased Pinning Frequency – You may have seen some of the conversations online about people experimenting with pinning less. My thought is that if you’re experimenting with this tactic, you are likely set up for success when it comes to Pinterest marketing in 2021. 

On the other hand, I have seen some folks using the tactic of “aggressive pinning” and I want to address this. 

Pinterest really wants your content. They want to see your products, your content, and your pins. What they don’t want is to see 100 pins for the same 20 pieces of content. They want you to create new, fresh content to share on their platform.

I suggest pinning less, creating more high-quality content, and spacing your pins out further. I will be doing some of my own experiments in January to see what is actually working. 

Pinterest statistics worksheet on desktop with pencils and red flowers.

Which 2020 Pinterest Changes Will Impact Us Most in the Long Term?

So in this 2020 Pinterest marketing recap, I wanted to share my perspective about the changes that I believe will impact Pinterest markers most significantly in the long term.

We think it’s likely that the Today tab is here to stay. This is a place that Pinterest uses to try to connect with people. 

As we already mentioned, the Verified Merchant Program is one of the most successful changes that Pinterest made this year. I expect even more shop features to become the focus in 2021. 

If you haven’t started using video pins or story pins, 2021 is the year to get going. They are both definitely here to stay. If you own a shop, you need to jump on video and story pins as soon as possible. These features, combined with promoted pins, are a great way to get your products in front of more people. 

Keep in mind that Story pins on Pinterest actually drive traffic to your site. Always remember that Pinterest isn’t Facebook or Instagram. The results you get from stories on those platforms are not comparable to the results of a promoted Story pin. In fact, Pinterest is not social media at all. It’s a search and discovery platform.

Be sure to listen in to the whole episode to hear my experience of being targeted by a Pinterest ad and the lengths I went to search out the product. 

Can you say Conspiracy Theory?

2020 is the year that everybody had a theory. Pinterest will continue their inclusive updates and filtering systems to avoid misinformation. While you may not agree with the methods the social media platforms have used to filter information, I do think there has to be a way for them to avoid promoting misinformation as much as possible. 

And there’s your 2020 Pinterest marketing recap in a nutshell! 

those are the things I see as the biggest changes on Pinterest in 2020. Some are here to stay and some will fade into the background as an anomaly in the year of the pandemic. 

I would love to hear what you’ve learned about Pinterest marketing this year and how your business has grown as a result. Tag me on Instagram and tell us what you’d love to leave behind in 2020 and what you hope to gain in 2021!

And now that we’ve reached the end of the 2020 Pinterest marketing recap, we can officially close out 2020 here at SPM. Thank you for being a listener of this podcast. We appreciate you so much and can’t wait to continue with you in 2021!


For Further Listening/Reading:


  1. Great stats here that should help others market with Pinterest as well. I agree with the point made about online shopping. It has changed considerably in 2020 and I have a feeling that its use will only grow in the New Year.

  2. Hi Kate,
    Amazing as always. I was hoping you could help me figure out what to do since I’ve searched around for a few days now and haven’t seen anything that seems to help.
    My Pinterest account seems like it got hit with a penalty. Not sure exactly what though…
    To explain, before it happened when I pin, each new pin gets about 300+ to 3k+ impressions. (I pin 4 of my own daily, new pin each time, ie. new img & text but most are from URLs/articles that have been pinned before).
    Suddenly, I’m now getting single digit impressions on each new pin, for ex. 4, 8, 6, 7 or similar for the 4 own pins I pin each day.
    My questions are:
    1. What should I do? Should I keep pinning or just dump the account and focus on my other blogs.
    2. Will it ever go back to normal or is this permanently going to be like this?
    3. Would you have any experience with this (& if by chance know how to fix it)?
    Thank you so much for your help. Any info or advice is very appreciated.

    1. Larry, it’s important to understand that Impressions just mean that Pinterest was showing your content to users (which likely means that your keywording is good). The issue may be with your images. I advice testing your images to see if they get more clicks by changing things up (ie text, colors, placement of copy, images themselves, etc.). What you are experiencing is likely just the consequence of the Pinterest algorithm — Pinterest may simply stopped showing your content as much because people weren’t clicking on it. Make your images more “clickable” and you should see things improve. I’d also advise you to start creating video and story pins, as we are currently seeing stellar engagement on those pin types

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