7 Major Ways Pinterest is Different on Android Compared to Desktop

Android desktop


There used to be a simpler time when the Internet was just used on desktops and laptops. Those times are long gone and what’s happened now is that the mobile revolution is taking place. Ever since Apple came out with their first iPhone and introduced the concept of an app the world hasn’t been the same.

It hasn’t been the same for Pinterest either since they’ve started, they now have over 70 million global users on the social network. You would think that the number of people visiting the actual site, would increase.

Well, that’s actually not the case according to an article by TechCrunch. Web traffic for Pinterest dropped during the months of June and July of 2013 for the U.S. What’s interesting is that Pinterest reported that the number of users have actually increased month over month due to mobile usage.

Pinterest Numbers Drop

Pinterest reported that the majority of their traffic comes from mobile usage as of the summer of 2012.

This has huge implications for marketers that are using Pinterest through their desktop and haven’t spent enough time on Android and iPhone devices to see what their pins are like, and how people are interacting with them.

How is the Pinterest Android Smartphone App Different from Desktop?

The Android smartphone app and the desktop version have some very big differences in terms of the user experience, and have huge implications for the future of Pinterest marketing.

In order to understand these differences it’s best to go over some of the different aspects of how Pinterest looks and feels and will help you create better marketing campaigns. Here are seven major ways that Pinterest desktop is different from the Android app.

1) Pins Visually Appear Different on Android Apps and Desktops on the Pinterest Feed

The amount of visual shown is very different compared to desktop devices. In my last blog post, I talked about the Android Ratio. This is the most optimal ratio to show a pin before the “Expand Pin” area shows. By having that “Expand Pin” area it can dramatically cut down the size of the visual that’s being shown on the Pinterest feed.

The Android Ratio is 2.55:1 (length:width). Let’s say a pin has a width of 100 pixels, this means that your pin length should be 255 pixels long if you want to visually make it as long as possible on the Android app without the “Expand Pin” showing. But on a desktop, the best ratio is 3.67:1 pixels long before the “Expand Pin” shows up.

Now with the announcement of Pinterest allowing promoted pins, having the wrong ratio could result in a lot less web traffic, and as a result, a drop in sales.

Let’s say you create a pin that has a call to action or text at the bottom of your pin, and the pin happens to be 100 pixels wide, and 300 pixels long. Sadly your text won’t be seen on the Pinterest feed for Android app users.

2) Sucks to be a Small Font on Android Smartphone

This is a given, but you’ll be surprised how important this is. I own a Samsung Galaxy S3, and it has a pretty big screen for a phone, but it’s definitely nothing compared to the size of my laptop screen or the desktop that I have at home.

I’ve seen a lot of pins that look terrible on the desktop version – the headline font is too small and hard to read, the pictures are wider than they are longer making it a challenge for them to stand out on a Pinterest feed. Now imagine putting those types of pins on even a much smaller screen. People’s eyes are going to start hurting from all the squinting. Just not good.

If your pins have a headline or a quote, make sure it’s nice and visible on an Android smartphone. I will keep a secret board that contains pins that I want to visually test on different devices, and then make corrections on the next pin I create.

I HIGHLY suggest infographic designers do this. You’ll be amazed how many infographics are unreadable on an Android device.

You want to make sure that the lettering is clear and visible to those who view it on Android devices. Let’s say that you happen to be the authour of a book. You don’t want your book title to be too small so that gets lost. Make sure your headlines are big to grab the attention of viewers on Android and PC.

3) Android Requires More Engagement

The desktop version of Pinterest makes it much more easier to Pin and Like. While scanning for pins, if you happen to find one that you like, then you can engage with it on the Pinterest feed. There’s no need to actually click on the pin itself. All you have to do is look for the Pinterest button on the very top of that pin, and its taken care of.

Here’s a visual example, from the Search Marketing Expo‘s Pinterest board for the desktop version of Pinterest.


However, Android pins require more effort to pin, and because the user experience may actually prevent easy repinning this may decrease the virality of content. I speculate that most repinning happens impulsively. This is going to sound silly as a Pinterest marketer, but I didn’t know until recently that you could actually hold down on the pin on the Pinterest feed to “Pin it.” The problem is that there’s a bit of a delay and it’s not very intuitive.

Most users on Android who may be ignorant of this fact, will generally tap on the pin itself and then click on the Pin it button on the bottom of the pin. In order to like the pin, or send it to another user, you do have to click on the pin to have those types of engagement.

Here’s a pin created by Pinterest Savvy, that’s been clicked through on the Android device.

Pinterst Savvy

This means, if you want to maximize the number of repins you HAVE to create pins that rock to encourage Android users to take that extra step.

4) Android has an Edit Home Feed Button

Unlike the other platforms, Android apps have an “Edit Home Feed” button. And it’s only a matter of time before Android users give it ago since it’s so blatant on the app. This feature was supposed to be rolled out by August of 2013 for all devices, but only came out for Android.

The Edit Home Feed button allows people to unfollow boards that they have not repinned from for a long time. And the list of boards to unfollow are created by Pinterest.

This is why it’s even more important to create content that people will repin, because as the number of users on Android continue to rise, so will the number of people who use this feature.

Unfollow Boards

Ensure your pins are repinnable, so you don’t end up on the naughty list. This also keeps you as a company responsible to ensure your pins are relevant.

5) Android Allows for Real Time Pinning

One of the big differences for marketers that use a desktop version of Pinterest and Android app is the ability to do live pinning. On the Android phone, you can take a photo, and then socially share it onto a Pinterest board within seconds. This way your Pinterest fans get to see what you see at a fashion show, a trade convention, or the unveiling of a new product.

It’s very hard to use your desktop to take a photo at a live fashion show and then pin it. But that can easily be done with the Android App.

This way your marketers can do live pinning any time, or a live guest pinner can do that as well.

6) Web Addresses on Android Pin Descriptions are not Cickable.

I wrote about this topic on a guest blog I did for TailWind. Marvel Entertainment’s Pinterest page uploads all their photos, but forgets to link those photos back to their website. Instead the link is always written in the descriptions of the pins.

The major problem is that the link address is only clickable for users of the desktop version, not on mobile devices. So when users see a pin they like from Mavel Entertainment and double click on the pin, all it does is lead to a media file. Therefore causing Marvel Entertainment to lose millions in web traffic.

This is why it’s important to be able to edit the pin under “Source” and ensure you link it to the right web page. This way it’s optimized for click through rates for both desktop and Android App pins.

7)Written Descriptions are Limited on Android

The length of the description showing on Pinterest for desktops are very different in length compared to those of Android. Pins that are on the Pinterest feed seen on the Pinterest desktop can show up to 500 characters. These descriptions don’t get cut off. But on a Pinterest feed for the Android app for a smartphones, the descriptions get cut off at around 125 characters (this really depends on the width of the letters).

This is vital knowledge to marketers. They must put the most important information in those first 125 characters. And ensure that those first few characters are filled with keywords, and a description that grips the curious mind.

Want to know more about how to become a master at Pinterest marketing, then download my book, “How to Search Optimize Your Pins for Pinterest and Search Engines.”
Here’s what Kimberly from Fundraiser Help had to say, “Your articles deliver great advice and your free 76-page PDF on ‘How To Search Optimize Your Pins And Boards For Pinterest” is a must read for anyone interested in successfully marketing on Pinterest.”

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Written by Vincent NG

I’m a social media marketer, particularly for Pinterest, It all started back in 2010 when Pinterest was in beta. It was the fastest independent website to get 10 million unique visitors in the U.S. This really struck a chord with me, and it was then that I knew that Pinterest was going to be a powerhouse in the world of digital and social media marketing.