If you’ve been on social media recently, chances are you may have seen an ad for Pinterest, particularly their new creator fund. Influencers such as Rylie Booth on TikTok gush about how easy it is to make money with Pinterest, even boasting in a recent video that she made enough extra cash with the platform to fund a vacation in Europe. Now that sounds pretty great, right? But what exactly is the creator fund, and is it as easy to profit from as everyone says?
In the wake of TikTok and Instagram, one may think that Pinterest has slid into irrelevancy, with users turning to reels and the For You Page for the DIYs and content they used to pin. However, the platform still ranks as the 14th largest social media platform in the world, with 433 million active monthly users as of 2022. Although its user base has declined over the past few years, in February 2021, Pinterest boasted over 459 million monthly active users, a result of its biggest annual increase in users since its founding. However, since then, it has seen a decline in users, with a 6% decrease reported in February this year.
Still, this isn’t a terrible loss for the company. Pinterest saw unique growth during 2020 when quarantine allowed many people to make time for the DIY, baking and home remodeling projects that the platform caters to. So, it is natural that just as life has gradually returned to normal, there has been a decline in monthly users. No longer in lockdown, many bid the platform goodbye. Explaining the loss of users, Pinterest stated, “Our decline was primarily impacted by engagement headwinds as the pandemic continued to unwind, and lower traffic from search.”
Still, despite the recent downturn in monthly traffic, the company’s revenue has still been on the incline. In a recent letter to shareholders, the company reported grossing $847 million in 2021, up $141 million from the previous year. The company stated that the growth in revenue was “driven by strong demand from retail advertisers.”
So, in response to the decline in users, Pinterest has reinvested some of its capital into a new creator fund, advertising on other social media apps to recruit influencers to expand their platforms onto theirs. Initially launched in April 2021, the $500,000 fund marks the first time that Pinterest has introduced financial incentives for the creators on their site.
Compared to other companies such as Snapchat, whose Spotlight initiative doled out millions to their most popular creators, and TikTok’s recent $200 million fund, Pinterest’s efforts may seem modest. However, they have made it clear that they are trying to establish a different type of influencer culture on their platform — one that prioritizes inclusivity and diversity.
Besides the new fund, Pinterest has established the “Creator Code,” a new set of guidelines for their influencers. All its paid creators must agree to certain rules that will prohibit misinformation and hate speech and promote fact-checking and an inclusive environment. Although these guidelines do not differ greatly from the ones currently in place for all users of the platform, the Creator’s Code hopes to help these influencers lead by example. As Pinterest’s head of policy, Sarah Bromma explained, “The Creator Code is intended to encourage Creators to really understand and bring to life the spirit — as well as the intent — of our content policies.”
With the new initiative, Pinterest also aims to support small and underrepresented creators. As Pinterest explained: “The program, currently only available in the United States, was started because we saw a need to uplift Creators and communities that have been disproportionately underrepresented on the platform.” As part of their Pride celebration, the company placed more focus on LGBTQIA+ creators, reducing the barriers to entry, helping them to expand their audiences, and supplying members of the community with additional resources to help them with their content creation.
So how does one tap into this creator fund? To qualify, the prerequisites are relatively simple. You must live in the U.S and be over 18 years old. You only need 250 followers, which is a much more achievable goal compared to other platforms. Finally, you must have 150 saves on content published in the past month and make three idea pins that are video content in the previous month. If you are eligible, then you can apply on the website. If accepted, you can start making money off your content and enjoy access to the platform’s resources for creators.
The payout is worth the work. Pinterest rewards $250 for pins that get over 100 saves and pays for content creation campaigns, particularly videos. Jennifer Leach, a Pinterest Creator, explained that getting paid is relatively easy. In only three months, she made close to $13,000 from the fund, posting content about remote work opportunities, side hustles, money, finance and lifestyle. She said that by posting one idea pin a week they rewarded her with $1,300 for meeting her content creation goal.
Her success story is not an anomaly. Countless creators have shared their journeys, reporting considerable earnings with relatively minimal effort. With the achievable entry requirements and low time commitment, Pinterest might just become the next go-to side hustle.