What happened

Pinterest (NYSE:PINS) stock scored a strike today, jumping 10.5% (as of 1:35 p.m. EST) on a report from eMarketer.com, which stated that in 2019, "Pinterest surpassed Snapchat as the third-biggest social media platform in the US."  

According to the website, as recently as 2018 Snap (NYSE:SNAP) -owned Snapchat was the third-biggest social media platform after Facebook and Twitter, with 75.8 million users (versus 75.5 million for Pinterest). Today, the balance of power has shifted, and it's Pinterest in the lead with 82.4 million users, versus 80.2 million for Snapchat.

Young woman holding up three fingers

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

And Pinterest isn't just bigger than Snapchat. It's also growing faster. eMarketer notes that Pinterest's user base grew 9.1% in 2019 (versus 5.9% for Snapchat). It's also forecast to keep on growing faster in future years: 4.4% in 2020, 2.8% in 2021, and 2% in 2022.

In eMarketer's opinion, Pinterest has a built-in advantage over its (now) smaller rival: "While Snapchat has a young core audience that it caters to, Pinterest has a more universal appeal, and it's made significant gains in a wide range of age groups."

Now what

Result: Pinterest now looks likely to "continue to stay ahead in the coming years," and "the gap between the two platforms' user bases will continue to grow through ... 2023."

Granted, this is just one publication's opinion. eMarketer does admit that Snapchat has a commanding lead among younger users -- 66.5% of kids aged 12 to 17 use it, versus 28.1% for Pinterest, and 81.3% of young adults aged 18 to 24. If these users remain loyal over time, it's possible that Snapchat could still do very well.

eMarketer just thinks the opposite is more likely, and that as users age, their taste in social media platforms will, also.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.