Welcome! This website is centered around my blog, which initially began as a sort of personal online journal, but has expanded to cover an eclectic range of topics. I am a social media enthusiast, emerging writer, and host of the Talking Taiwan podcast. Thanks for visiting and following along my personal journey!

What's the Difference Between Instagram and Pinterest?

What's the Difference Between Instagram and Pinterest?

On June 19th I’ll be teaching a workshop for SCORE at the Science, Industry and Business Library (SIBL) called, “Instagram and Pinterest, Your Visual Marketing Tools." Click here to learn more about my workshop and to register to attend.

I’m super excited about this workshop because I love the SIBL. Over the years I’ve attended many useful workshops there and found the speakers to be incredibly knowledgeable.

To whet your appetite on the topic of Instagram vs. Pinterest, I thought I’d share how these two platforms are similar and different.

Of the six most commonly used social media platforms*, Instagram and Pinterest, are the two most visual-centric i.e. the content shared on these platforms are photos or visual images. But that's where the similarity ends.

*Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, SnapChat, Twitter

**I've previously written about Instagram on this blog. If you want to learn more about Instagram, take a look at my 31 Instagram Tips in 21 Days post.


So what’s the difference between Instagram and Pinterest?

[SPOILER ALERT: There are six differences. Can you name them all?]

1. Desktop vs. Mobile

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Instagram is meant to be used primarily on mobile devices. While it is fully functional in its mobile app format, it is not fully functional in desktop browser form. You can view content on the desktop browser version and comment on other users’ posts. Until recently you couldn’t upload photos from a desktop browser. There is a way to do it as explained here, but it is a bit cumbersome. One thing to note if you upload photos from a desktop browser, is that you won’t be able to apply any of Instagram’s filters to the photos. Also, you won’t see ads or be able to see or upload Instagram Stories from a desktop browser.  

Pinterest on the other hand, is fully functional on both desktop browsers and its mobile app.


2. How Content Is Shared on Instagram vs. Pinterest

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On Instagram, users typically share their own original content directly onto Instagram, though this is not a hard, fast rule.

Pinterest users typically curate and save the content of other users. Again this is not a hard fast rule because if you are establishing a presence for your business or brand on Pinterest, you will be pinning a lot of your own original content.


3. Photo Editing

When you upload photos or images to Instagram you can edit them by doing things like applying a filter or adjusting things like brightness, contrast, and sharpness.

Pinterest does not allow any photo editing in its mobile app or desktop browser version. Any edits to photos must first be done directly to the photo before it is uploaded to Pinterest.


4. Photos vs. Video

Instagram allows you to post photos, and video. There are many forms of video that can be posted. On Instagram you can upload video clips captured directly on your phone. Clips can also be recorded inside of the Instagram app. Then there are Boomerang clips, Live video and Instagram stories.

Pinterest only allows you to pin a link that will direct you to a video from somewhere else, like YouTube for example. If you want to add your own videos directly to Pinterest, you have to do it as a promoted video. In other words, you can only upload your own videos through the ad manager and pay to get your video delivered to and viewed by other users. You can however post gifs directly to Pinterest.


5. Links

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Instagram is one of the few social media platforms that does not allow any links to be added to posts or comments. The only clickable link is the link listed in an Instagram bio. Links can also be added to Instagram ads or Story Ads.

On Pinterest, the pins are a link to the source of the image, which is usually an external site. Because of this Pinterest can be used to drive traffic to a particular website and for SEO purposes.


6. Hashtags vs. Pins

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Hashtags are what gets content on Instagram discovered. Hashtags are basically a way to index or categorize words or phrases so that a social media post can be discovered by others.

On Pinterest it's all about the pins. A pin is a visual bookmark that is placed on a board. Pinterest pins must be descriptive in order to show up in search results. Hashtags are irrelevant on Pinterest.

If you want to know more about using Instagram and Pinterest for your business, consider attending my June 19th workshop at the Science, Industry and Business Library

For full details and to register click here.


Here's what I'll be discussing for both Instagram and Pinterest:

1) Best practices for your business account

2) Posting strategy and content creation

3) Ways to organically promote your business

4) How to create ads.

Attendees will leave this workshop with an understanding of how Instagram and Pinterest differ, how to use to use both platforms to promote a business organically and through paid posts.

Takeaways will include:

  • The differences between Instagram and Pinterest
  • Best Practices for an Instagram and Pinterest business account
  • How to create content for Instagram and Pinterest
  • What types of content work best on Instagram and Pinterest
  • The types of ads you can create for Instagram
  • How to create an ad for Instagram
  • How to create an ad for Pinterest
6 Social Media Strategy Takeaways From my Recent Workshop About Instagram and Pinterest

6 Social Media Strategy Takeaways From my Recent Workshop About Instagram and Pinterest

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