©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.
The image pinning social network that has become the darling of many women’s service magazines of late is also a breakout star in the Internet traffic ecosystem. According to the latest figures from referral traffic analytics company Shareaholic, Pinterest was responsible for 3.6% of online referral traffic in January, right behind Twitter (3.61%), Google (3.62%), StumbleUpon (5.07%) and dominant force Facebook (26.4%). Pinterest’s share has gone up from 2.5% just in December, while those larger sources of referrals declined. This puts Pinterest well ahead of YouTube as a source of user referrals, which is 1.05% in January. In July, Pinterest had a mere .17% of referral share. Shareaholic’s data is based on reports from 200,000 publishers reaching 260 million unique monthly users. There is some disagreement over referral numbers, however. In a mid-November report, Experian Hitwise found that Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Yahoo all drove more traffic to other sites than did Pinterest, which was in fifth place and still well ahead of Google+.