Pinterest has overtaken Tumblr in the United States

pinterestThe Web has been abuzz about Pinterest for a while now. There is, shall we say, a great interest in Pinterest. So much interest, it turns out, that Pinterest in all likelihood is now getting more traffic than Tumblr in the United States. And if it isn’t, it soon will.

How did we come to this conclusion? We hit as many data sources as we possibly could and made a highly educated guess, and just so you don’t think we are making this up, we’ll take you through the process.

Analyzing website traffic, Pinterest vs. Tumblr

There are numerous sources that estimate website traffic to the world’s top sites. We looked at several of them.


According to Alexa, Pinterest is currently the 16th most trafficked site in the United States, while Tumblr is ranked just below it at number 17.

Win: Pinterest

Google Trends for Websites

Looking at the daily site traffic estimates from Google Trends for Websites, sorted to show the last 12 months and only traffic in the United States, this is what you get:

Google trends for websites pinterest vs tumblr

Win: Pinterest


According to Compete, Pinterest got 19.38 million unique visitors in the United States in May. Tumblr got 21.6 million.

Win: Tumblr


According to Quantcast, Pinterest got 45.8 million visitors in May in the United States. Tumblr’s entire network got 50.7 million visitors, although only 41.9 million of those were to the domain.

It should be mentioned that Pinterest has not implemented Quantcast measurement, but Tumblr has. In other words, Tumblr has a bit of an advantage here. The numbers for Pinterest have fluctuated wildly which doesn’t inspire confidence. But regardless:

Win: Tumblr

2 – 2, we need more data!

With two wins for Tumblr and two for Pinterest, we can’t really make a judgement on this yet. Enter two more data sources.

Experian Hitwise

According to Experian, Pinterest was way ahead of Tumblr in the United States in March. The only social networks that beat it were Twitter and Facebook.

Win: Pinterest


Comscore states that Pinterest has grown 4,377% year over year (May 2011 to May 2012). Tumblr has “only” grown 168%.

And according to Comscore’s numbers, Pinterest was juuust below Tumblr in the United States this past March. Here is a chart from Comscore’s State of the US Internet webinar, showing monthly unique visitors:

social network traffic US

So, if Pinterest is growing the fastest by far, and was just under Tumblr in March, we’re guessing it has passed Tumblr by now, or will do so very soon.

Win: Pinterest

That’s it, we’re calling it. 4 – 2 for Pinterest, in combination with its amazing growth rate, makes us think it really has passed Tumblr in terms of traffic by now. In the United States, that is.

So United States + Pinterest = Love? Oh yes

Google Insights for Search shows that the interest in Pinterest is by far the strongest in the United States, followed by Canada.

pinterest interest

Tumblr on the other hand is a bit more global, which is why it beats Pinterest in terms of global traffic.

tumblr interest

Both of these maps show interest based on Google search results over the past 12 months.

First the United States, then the world?

Pinterest has taken the United States by storm. The rest of the world may still not have caught on, but it’s worth noting that this is how many of today’s social networks got started. I.e. first they grew in North America, then a gradual expansion into the rest of the world. Facebook did this. Twitter did this. And we bet Tumblr did, too. Next up, Pinterest?

A final little note: In spite of being Swedes, we actually have a Pinterest board. We tend to fill it with plenty of geeky stuff, so have a look if you like that sort of thing.


  1. I am shocked by the bias and sensationalism in this post:
    – You can use Google Trends to verify that searches for tumblr/pinterest completely outnumber Using Google Trends to compare the two shows Tumblr far bigger and growing much faster with Pinterest tanking since the beginning of the year.,+pinterest
    – You used the wrong Quantcast data — under reporting Tumblr by more than 80M uniques:
    – You compare the growth rate of a company that started the year with 0 uniques to a company that started the same period with 125 million. (Quantcast)
    – You should know Alexa, Compete and Experian numbers are make believe.
    – You could have used Google’s Ad Planner data (which leverages real data unlike the above) which shows Pinterest leading Tumblr’s U.S. audience 90/56M (this probably doesn’t count Tumblr’s full network, custom addresses, etc.). It also shows Tumblr with MUCH higher engagement and GROWING while Pinterest has been falling since February.
    – This title should be prefaced with “Estimate:”
    This wasn’t a rant against Pinterest – just Pingdom continuing to trash Tumblr for some bizarre reason.

  2. Since when is Alexa a trustworthy source? Pinterest is the most awsome meaningless hype I have ever seen. #keepbelieving

    1. @_Titel_ C’est clair… (sinon, je crois que j’ai pas gagné d’invit’ pour la master class de Brian Solis snif :'( )

        1. @_Titel_ oui finalement oui ! Et je découvre les joies de prendre des notes et tweeter en même temps, exercice ardu :p

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