Pinterest Predicts: The science behind our future trends

7. joulukuuta 2022Leah Gordon and Sydney Stanback

Collage featuring one person with dual-toned hair and another person wearing a shiny, fringe jacket surrounded by a random assortment of graphics that will be used throughout the trends report.

Our trend predictions aren’t guesswork or clairvoyance. They’re based on months of data, rigorous analysis and evaluation by a cross-functional team of Pinterest employees. Read on for an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at the art and science of Pinterest Predicts.

Pinterest Predicts for 2023 just dropped. This not-yet-trending report shares 27 of the biggest trends we expect to rise in the year ahead. So…how do we do it?

People come to Pinterest to plan. And because they’re designing everything from daily dinners to milestone moments, we get early signals on what’s coming next. It’s direct insight into what’s likely to be really big, really soon.  

So that’s where the data comes from. But behind the scenes, there are months of expert analysis that go into making sure we find the right signals, and nail our future trends. Pinterest trends aren’t a flash in the pan. In fact, trends on Pinterest sustain 21% longer monthly growth than trends elsewhere on the internet.1 And the same kind of long-term investment in research and development goes into every trend we predict. 

There are four key stages to our approach: Data examination, curation, inclusion and accountability. 

Data examination 

Data is at the core of everything we do. In this first stage of the trendspotting process, we set rigorous volume and growth thresholds to sift through the billions of searches that take place each month.2 Unlike most trends research that looks at just one year of data, we analyze over two-year periods, capturing English language queries from all over the world.

To ensure there’s no bias that might skew data—like seasonality—we work with normalized searches. That way, we see what's really rising to the top of our platform (not just, for example, Christmas trending in December). 

Once we’ve established our data set, we layer on our predictive approach. Pinterest has been releasing annual predictions for quite some time now. Over the past three years, we've developed a trend score that uses modeling to help us pinpoint, with even more confidence, what’s likely to trend in the future. We’ve also added a visual analysis layer that evaluates the actual data trendline to ensure we’re identifying trends as close to their inception as possible.  

Curation

The second stage of the process is curation. Around 500k searches (!) qualify for our annual Predicts report. Then, our cross-functional teams of writers, designers, researchers and strategists come together during Insights Making Week to distill these search terms into about 50 distinct trends. At the same time, a team of trendspotters looks at what’s happening in the world at large to help identify the “why” behind the trends in consideration. By the end of this sprint, we’ve landed our curated list of ~30 trends that we predict will pop in the year ahead.

Inclusion 

The next stage in our process leans on a value that’s core to our company mission and ethos—inclusion. Every trend is vetted for global relevancy and representation, and pressure tested through rigorous qualitative testing and reviews. We also partner with an external focus group, NXT Labs, to check our bias and ensure that all people from all backgrounds and perspectives can see themselves in our trend predictions. 

Accountability

The final stage is accountability. We don't just name our trends and walk away—we grade them, checking in throughout the year to see how each trend performs. We solicit both internal and external feedback and publish an annual scorecard to assess what we got right, and why some predictions may have fallen flat. And we work these learnings into our methodology, continuously updating and enhancing our trendspotting process for every new edition of Predicts. 

The power of prediction

The end result of every analysis, conversation and query? 80% accuracy. Yep, you read that right: 8 out of 10 trends we called came true three years in a row thanks to our robust methodology and analysis.3

And Pinterest’s global trends do even more than look forward. They last longer and grow faster.1 That’s the power of Pinterest trends

Now that you understand the science behind them, you can make them work harder for you and your brand. Get ahead of the trends before they take off. It’s time to take advantage of your very own crystal ball.