What Does It Cost to Build a Pinterest-like App?

Zhanna Kolesnik

Sometimes even a simple idea needs the Muse. Is it possible to create a source of inspiration? If so, what is the cost of it? This article tells about the purpose and features of a Pinterest-like app, discovers its costs and offers minimal essential functionality. It would be of interest to retail and advertising startups and companies’ CEO who are looking for new marketing and business development ideas and inspiration. 

6 min read

What Is the Buzz about Pinterest?

One of Pinterest co-founders said his application is a “catalogue of ideas.” Pinterest users may collect pictures, gifs, videos and arrange them in boards. Pinterest is specifically popular among female users. They use Pinterest to save and share recipes, handmade guides, inspirational quotes and pictures.

Pinterest Board Example1

If a user needs to find information, he or she uses Google or any other search engine. But what if a person is looking for inspiration or new ideas and does not have keywords to use search engine? Pinterest search is more about discovering new things and ideas, not just getting information. It addresses problem of the ‘unknown unknown’. Pinterest is really a catalogue of ideas, arranged by different filters and boards, and millions of people every day find something new and interesting there.

Pinterest Board Example

Pinterest bookmarklet - a small browser extension tool to pick the images from the web - turns a passive surfing through a number of pictures into active participation. Engaging helps to memorize what a user has seen and shared with others. Besides, unlike Facebook and other social networks, Pinterest’s content is the navigation tool by itself, allowing for screening through beautiful pictures, without pop-up ads.

We Use Boards Every Day, Have You Noticed It?

In a nutshell, your smartphone launch screen is a board, with grouped icons arranged in a meaningful way helping you find the app you need at a glance. Visibility makes icons more suitable to use and recognizable to find the right one soon. Since human beings have five senses, we usually have five ways to get the information, or at least the majority of us do. Such information is audio, taste, touch, smell and sight. Out of these, over 60% of information is visual.

What else do we know about the way our brain works? Recent researches say that over 65% of the human population are visual learners. It means people remember things better if they see them. Besides, humans think in patterns - we need to classify and organize the world around us for it to fit into our mind. With the visual information, the layout is important. Layout helps physically cluster similar things together. Blackboard or paper stickers are great ways to organize visuals. It is really more suitable to share ideas or organize a brainstorm looking at the sets of structured information items. So, no wonder, today we have a number of different online boards that help us systematize and save the information, or ideas, or reminders, or even inspiration pictures, or quotes.

Types of Online Boards

It is possible to divide online boards into five groups:

  • Management boards like Trello: this type of boards helps to organize work schedule and share team duties and workflows. They are very popular with sales, HRs and other teams who need to collaborate and agree work schedule. In 2017, Atlassian bought Trello for $425M, and, according to Atlassian statistic data, Trello has over 19M users for 2017 compared to 4.5M in 2014.
  • Social networks: they also provide the option to collect data, photos, videos, articles and to create boards. Users also may manage their boards and share them. Facebook is one of the worldwide social networks we use every day for work and pleasure, to follow news and people. The total number of active Facebook users is over 2 billion people every month. Today Facebook is worth more than Walmart, one of the largest retail corporation in the world.
  • Vision online boards like DreamItAlive are rather popular among those who prefer to visualize their dreams and goals with pictures and phrases to inspire or even to activate the universal law of attraction.
  • Video boards: they give way to collect videos. So, a user can add an own video file or a file found online to their collection. Without any doubts, YouTube is the biggest video-sharing website today. However, it is also possible to create video collection within a social network account.
  • Mood boards: this type of boards gives possibility to create sets of pictures of fashion look or room design styles.

E-commerce Opportunities of Pinterest-like Picture Board App

Mood boards, like Pinterest, are the most popular class of board systems. Over 2 millions of active 175 millions Pinterest users save shopping pins on their boards every day. It is also necessary to mention the demographic features of the Pinterest users: 81% of them are women, and 55% of women are 18-55 years old. Besides 33% of Millennials use Pinterest. So, if your target audience is among women or Millennials, a Pinterest-like application could be a very fruitful way to promote your company goods or/and services.

Pinterest does not seem commercial, but its pinned board is more like shopping than usual social networks timeline. Usually, customer journey starts outside of the target company's online website, from Google or any other search engine. But what if you try to predict and help your customer to plan for the future? Pinterest users admit that they use the app to make the purchasing decisions. According to statistic, in 2015, the most popular categories, which inspired Pinterest users to make purchasing decisions, were:

Infographics Industry Pie Chart

Users who are referred to e-commerce websites from Pinterest show 10% greater probability to buy goods or services the website proposes than those who visit the e-commerce website from other social networks.

If your way to change the world needs a Pinterest-like app, find out how much does it cost to create it. The following section explains what it takes in terms of team, scope, costs, and features. A Pinterest-like application development cost varies; it depends on implemented functionality and technologies. For our estimation, we suggest a web application, with an SPA for the frontend and REST API for the backend.

A minimum essential team for such a project consists of:

Suggested Team Lineup for the Project

The most probable application features are:

Pinterest-like App Suggested Features

The most labor-intensive application features are:

Pinterest-like App Features Breakdown

Including QA and PM rates and less labor-intensive application features, the total number of hours ranges from 3000 to 4900. The final cost depends on the number of additional features, e.g. Safari browser Pin Extension would add about 70 hours.

So, we have discussed the base features of a Pinterest-like application and their possible costs. Of course, it can have more interesting custom functions, and you can offer more options to your users. We are opened to your ideas and ready to help you realize them.

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