Blog Post

The Impact of Coronavirus on Social Media [Part 2] – Pinterest & Reddit

04/24/2020 - Sierra Ducey

When thinking about social media, people usually jump to companies like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. However,  there are two social media platforms with smaller user bases (still landing in the millions), that offer powerful advertising tactics: Pinterest and Reddit. On top of their advantageous opportunities for advertisers, they have also implemented important tactics throughout the coronavirus outbreak to help users. See more below!



Response to Coronavirus

As a frequent Pinterest user, I’ve noticed different alerts across pins and boards that highlight coronavirus facts and figures and steps the brand is taking to ensure users have accurate information.

When searching for topics related to coronavirus, a notice is displayed stating that they are only posting information from internationally-recognized health organization and asking users to report any potentially harmful information.

  • Pinterest is utilizing AI to identify keywords and images associated with misinformation. The site was very quick to recognize the potential harm Pinterest users could have experienced when using their app and in turn, effectively updated their policies.
  • Pinterest implemented the “Today” tab, which is “a source of daily inspiration with curated topics and trending Pins” that helps users explore timely and popular ideas.

In addition, the CEO Ben Silbermann partnered with leading doctors and scientists to launch a new app called “How We Feel”, which allows Americans to self-report just that — how they’re feeling, healthy or not. You can read more about that here.

What does this mean for advertisers?

More so than on other social media sites, Pinterest users visit their app with the intention of making a purchase. And, in the last few weeks, Pinterest saw an all-time high app usage with “more saves and searches on the platform than any other weekend in our history.” What does all this mean? Pinterest is a great place to invest advertising dollars right now.

Pinterest has historically been an app that consumers have flocked to for inspiration, creative ideas, and advice, and this still rings true following the coronavirus outbreak. In fact, more consumers than ever are visiting Pinterest to make the most of their time at home.  As an advertiser, use this increase in Pinterest users and activity to your advantage – place relevant, native ads next to pins that consumers are engaging with and searching for.



Response to Coronavirus

As a platform that is popular as destination for discussions, open conversations, and an outlet for users to share candid opinions, monitoring, it’s not surprising that monitoring the spread of misinformation surrounding coronavirus has posed a challenge for Reddit. In response to the coronavirus outbreak, Reddit has taken a proactive approach to implement effective strategies that help users verify that information they are reading is factual.

  • By the beginning of March, R/Coronavirus gained over 450,000 members. This page was used to share stories and news but is closely moderated by verified users (many of which have scientific backgrounds).
  • R/COVID-19, with 36,000 members takes a more scientific approach, sharing statistics and studies about the disease.
  • Obviously other pages have emerged discussing the disease, that are not as closely monitored. The page r/Wuhan_Flu is described as an “uncensored” discussion. This page was “quarantine” meaning a user must be logged in before accessing the page and approve a “misinformation or hoax” warning.
  • Reddit is promoting r/CoronaVirus as a verified way to learn about the disease.
  • Users of the mobile app were sent a notification suggesting to visit the page.
  • The subreddit is also being promoted on the front page of the website with the banner “KEEP YOURSELF SAFE AND INFORMED.”

What does this mean for Advertisers?

Similar to Pinterest, throughout the coronavirus outbreak, Reddit has seen a “surge” in site traffic. Entertainment (such as Gaming, TV, and Technology & Computing), DIY (such as Art & Design), Family & Relationships (up 10%), and WFH & Online Learning communities have been increasing as people are looking for new ways to entertain themselves at home. Reddit has seen page view increase (anywhere from 20-50%) for topics such as Business & Finance, News & Education, Travel, and Sports. Despite the industry, users are looking to Reddit for discussions, sources, and conversation. As a brand, you can access these curious consumers with carefully placed ads via conversation, video, or images.

By advertising on either of these platforms, you effectively reach consumers where they are – searching for things to do or buy on Pinterest or looking to discuss timely topics on Reddit. These are more exploratory apps (in comparison to more personal, relationship-oriented apps such as Facebook and Instagram), where users are welcome to new ideas – or in an advertiser’s case brands and products. This makes these platforms a great place for brands to interact and converse with consumers. However, it’s important for advertisers to remember that during this difficult time, no matter the social media platform you choose to advertise on, effective and timely messaging is essential. Both Pinterest and Reddit advise advertisers to keep their messages sensitive, helpful, and informative.

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