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Instagram VS Pinterest – How These Two Visual Platforms are so Different

You know that moment—it’s the one where you’ve taken a gorgeous photograph with your mobile phone of something you feel the need to share with the world. It might be your dinner, your kid, or a cute dog, but the itchy feeling to show off what you’ve just done with your camera is right there, under your skin, urging you to post it on social media.

You decide to do it, but you sit and stare at the many social icons on your phone screen. It must be an image app, because this photo is too dang good for Facebook, and you decide Instagram or Pinterest are the best options. After all, you have accounts on both, so it’ll be easy, right? Your thumbs hover over each, and as your palms sweat, you ask yourself the burning question:

“Which visual platform should I share to?”

To answer that question, there are a few more you need to ask yourself. Let’s break down the differences between Instagram and Pinterest while considering the type of photo you have, shall we?

We’ll start by looking at the image. It’s a photograph of your dinner. Succulent beef topped with sprigs of rosemary on a puddle of whipped potatoes and a side of charred carrots with the little green tops still attached.

What do you want to do with the image?

Instagram will allow you to edit the image in app. You can add filters, crop it, or add text.

Pinterest will allow you to post the image to a board. Perhaps you have one called “Foods I’ve Made.” There is no editing in app.

Do you want to post anything other than text alongside your image?

Instagram will allow you to add a little snippet that will appear beneath your image on your timeline or add text and post to your story. You cannot link the image directly.

Pinterest will allow you to add text (perhaps a recipe?), and if you happen to have a food blog or website, you can link the image to that URL.

Are you promoting your mad cooking skills or just sharing a pretty photo?

Instagram will have your image show up on other users’ feeds as they scroll and give them a snippet of text—hashtags are an excellent thing to use here so even people who don’t follow you can find your picture.

Pinterest will show your image to anyone who happens to search the platform with a keyword in your image title or the accompanying text, but your followers see it first.

Do you need that link to work?

Instagram has limits with links. You need to have a link to the blog or recipe online in your profile if you want it to be clickable. Otherwise, you post the link and people have to physically type it in a browser outside IG to get to it.

Pinterest will allow people who find your photo to simply click on it and head to the website for more information without ever leaving the app.

Are you just wanting to share with no links?

Instagram is a photograph smorgasbord. It literally exists to share photos (edited or otherwise) with the public (or just friends, if you have your profile set to private). People can love your image and give you the comments you’re craving very quickly. People go to see the visual pretties. But they can’t click it.

Pinterest is all about creating those boards and finding deeper information on a subject. There are a ton of how to links on Pinterest, and people go there to get ideas. They can still comment, and they can save your pin to a board of their own, but the layout is more of a pinboard style rather than a rolling feed. But you can drive traffic more easily.

So, for you to answer the question about which social media platform you should share your lovely food photo to, you’ll first need to figure out your purpose for sharing. If you just want kudos, post that puppy to Instagram. If you’re looking for website traffic, Pinterest is probably your better option.

No matter which of these visual channels you choose, always select with intention.

Now that you know the differences between Instagram and Pinterest, where’s your food photo going?

For more fun social media information posts, check out our page here at CloudQ. You won’t be sorry that you did.

Contributor

Jo Michaels

Marketing Coordinator

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