Pinterest has been one of the hottest startups of Silicon Valley over the past few years, but a report on Wednesday has raised an important question: Has the growth that persuaded investors to buy into its $11 billion valuation cooled off?The content sharing firm said it has 100 million monthly active users, according to a report by the Ringer. Though the vast size of that community remains impressive, it also suggests Pinterest has not experienced much growth over the past year. That’s because the company quoted the same figure to The New York Times last September.
Pinterest denies that growth has plateaued.”We’re continuing to experience strong user growth, but we haven’t made an update to our public user number (which is normal for a private company),” a company spokeswoman told Inc. on Wednesday. She added that Pinterest plans to update its active user total “soon,” and that there will be a “notable” uptick in that figure.That may be the case, but not updating user figures for more than a year is typically a problematic sign when it comes to young startups, whose eye-popping valuations are typically derived from their skyrocketing growth.
While Pinterest appears slow to reach the next milestone after 100 million users, many of its rivals in the online social space have experienced faster growth.Instagram, for example, grew from 400 million monthly active users last September to 500 million this past June. Facebook Messenger grew from 700 million active users last June to more than one billion in July. And five-year-old Snapchat has reportedly gone from 100 million daily active users in May 2015 to 150 million this June, surging past seven-year-old Pinterest.