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Earlier this month, it was reported that Pinterest could be forced to change its name across Europe. The reason? The content-sharing site lost a trademark dispute with Premium Interest, a rival curation service which registered a European claim for the name two years ago.

To win any appeal, Pinterest needs to show that it was sufficiently well-known in the continent at the time the name was registered – with judges ruling that it can’t simply rely on its early success in the US as proof that it was a well-known name elsewhere.

So, what are Pinterest’s chances of succeeding? According to our data, the platform did indeed have a much stronger foothold in the US back in 2012, with 13% of American internet users having an account in Q2 (just over half of whom were using it actively). In contrast, only 3% of the European internet audience had signed up for an account, with 1% being active users.

At face value, these figures underline the challenge the site will face. But if we convert them into estimated user numbers, Pinterest’s chances become somewhat stronger. Back in Q2 2012, it could already boast an estimated 8.71 million members and 3.59 million active users in Europe – suggesting strong brand recognition, given there would have been many more people who had heard of the site but not signed up.

And what about Pinterest’s fortunes now? Our latest wave of research, released in January 2014, shows that just over a third (34%) of online Americans now have an account, with 16% being active – representing an estimated 29 million people.

In Europe, the picture remains more modest: 8% across the continent now have an account, with 3% being active users. Certainly, that still means that Pinterest is being actively used by around 7.31 million Europeans each month – but it’s got some way to go before it can be considered a truly global social network and a household name.

For the latest trends and figures within the social media landscape, see our new GWI Social report.

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