While massive online platforms like Facebook (FB) are coming under heavy scrutiny from regulators for their market dominance, some of their smaller rivals are showing renewed signs of growth.
On Thursday, Pinterest (PINS)reported hitting 300 million monthly users for the first time during the quarter ending in June, a 30% increase from the same period a year earlier.
Sales are also growing faster than expected, which it credits in part to a growing advertiser base. Pinterest posted revenue of $261 million, a 62% increase from the prior year. The company is seeing enough traction that it’s now upping its revenue forecast for the year to $1.115 billion from from a high-end estimate of $1.080 billion before.
Shares of Pinterest soared as much as 13% in after-hours trading Thursday, even as the company also reported a steep $1.16 billion net loss for the quarter, driven by expenses associated with its initial public offering in April.
The report follows strong earnings reports from Twitter (TWTR) and Snap (SNAP), the parent company of Snap (SNAP)chat, suggesting there is still room to grow in the digital advertising and social media markets even as Facebook and Google remain the undisputed leaders.
After a long period of lackluster growth, Snapchat added 13 million daily users in the three months ending in June, Snap reported last week, and topped 200 million daily users for the first time. It also grew quarterly revenue by nearly 50%, well above what Wall Street had expected.
Likewise, Twitter is consistently profitable and growing its audience of daily users. Last week, the company reported having 139 million daily active users it can serve ads to in the most recent quarter, up from 134 million in the prior quarter.
Pinterest has long resisted calling itself a social media company, instead labeling itself a productivity tool. “At its most basic level, it’s just about you,” CEO Ben Silbermann told CNN Business in one interview. “It’s not about following the news. It’s not about accruing followers. It’s not about following celebrities. It’s really about your personal interests.”
But like Twitter and Snap, Pinterest makes its money by building an ad-based platform on which marketers can target a large audience of users who are there to follow friends, colleagues and brands.
Also like the other two companies, Pinterest has faced direct threats from Facebook. Instagram, owned by Facebook, has tested a public “Collections” feature similar to Pinterest and introduced shopping features shortly after Pinterest did the same.
Even so, these companies are still here and they’re still growing.