Thought Leadership

Pinterest Predicts what’s popular in 2023

The social media giant shares its 2023 predictions based on the search habits of its users and considers how brands can help shape the trends of tomorrow

Georgie Moreton

Assistant Editor, BITE Creativebrief


As January brings fresh perspectives and new predictions, marketers will be looking to align with new trends that bring with them opportunities to connect with culture and communities. Each year social media giant Pinterest pulls together its list of predictions, based on the search habits of its users. The result is Pinterest Predicts, the ‘not yet trending report’, which is unique as the brand claims that for the past three years, 80% of the predictions it contained actually came true.

Last week Pinterest held an event led by Visha Kudhail, Director of Business Marketing, EMEA at Pinterest to unpick some of the 27 emerging trends for 2023 and consider how marketers might find opportunities within the data.

Data fuelled predictions

Unlike other social media platforms Pinterest is all about planning. With users turning to the platform to curate ideas in the planning stages of an event. The fact that the platform is somewhere people go to get inspired about their future plans, contrary to Instagram for example where users go after events have taken place to post about them, gives it a unique lens on future trends.

Essentially the platform curates passions and interests. From big life events like weddings to everyday moments like cooking dinner, the platform is designed for people to search for inspiration and then go and turn those plans into reality. Where the app is routed in looking to the future, it has search data that can indicate long term trends and shifts in consumer behaviour.

A fad is a short period, a trend is a development and change in behaviour. One is more powerful than the other.

Visha Kudhail, Director of Business Marketing, EMEA, Pinterest

Logged-in users share their interests with the platform and increasingly Pinterest has become one of the most trusted social platforms;  viewed as an ‘online oasis’ by its users who feel largely positive about the brand. The platform boasts 445 million users around the world and is able to maintain its positive nature through a focus on ideas and not opinions.

Richard Shotton, Author of The Choice Factory, spoke at the event, pointing to Pinterest's prediction prowess, while looking at the results through a behavioural science lens. He pointed to a study carried out by Philip Tetlock in 1983 where Tetlock asked forecasters for quantifiable predictions at scale. The study ran over the course of 20 years and the headline finding was that most predictions are a poor indicator of consumer behaviour. As Shotton explained: ‘Most expert predictors are worse than chance alone, most experts and poorer forecasters than dart-throwing monkeys.” 

For, when speaking with audiences and making predictions surveys can be inaccurate because an audiences' motivation isn’t aligned with telling the truth, rather people are more concerned about looking good than being honest. Pinterest Predicts is based on search data and therefore respondents have to tell the truth as otherwise, they wouldn’t be able to garner accurate results. The results can also be seen in the real world, 2022’s prediction of the rise of ‘barkitecture’ can be seen through the sheer number of pet owners who now own miniature furniture.

Riding the wave of a trend

Trends allow ample opportunities for brands that can help lead and shape trends to facilitate behavioural shifts and so knowing what is a viable trend rather than a fad is essential. Kudhail defined the difference between a fad and a trend sharing that a “fad is a short period, a trend is a development and change in behaviour. One is more powerful than the other.”

She pointed to the baked feta pasta that was all over social media feeds in 2022 as a ‘flash in the pan fad’. She explained: “There could be good results but there was barely time to get something approved and out the door before it was gone.” She warned that ‘jumping on fads can see you miss trends’. While the feta pasta was a fad, it was indicative of a wider trend seen in Pinterest search data that found audiences were looking for ‘easy dinners.’

Some of this year’s trends that allow for ample brand engagement opportunities include ‘Free spirits’, a prediction driven by Gen X that found people are drinking more on their own terms and experimenting with alcohol-free options. This emerging pool of  ‘sober curious’ consumers presents a key opportunity for brands. For example savvy marketers could engage with this shift by sharing a series of cocktail recipes on social media or by releasing a low-alcohol version of a product. 

Another trend, ‘Money Moves’ was all about the gamification of people’s finances, making finance fun. The trend has been driven by Gen X and millennials who are looking to inject fun into their finances to help kick start their savings. With 9/10 adults reporting that the cost of living has increased, Pinterest has seen a 335% increase in searches for ‘biweekly saving challenge.’ Brands might engage with this by releasing an app or by being more communicative about cost and supporting consumers during these hard economic times.

Other trends like ‘The YOLO years’ show a growing opportunity for marketing to an older audience that is still the life of the party, ‘SciFi Fits’ show that fashion is beginning to reflect a more moody, dark and dystopian current time and ‘Crown Care’ shows how an extra step in the morning care routine can lead to new product opportunities. 

For brands and consumers alike, now is a great time to plan, discover and do. As the UK faces tough economic times, purchase power is declining and brands need to focus on trends they know to be taking off. By exploring what’s to come and being bold and relevant, brands can help trends further take-off and shape what’s popular in 2023. 

To find out more about Pinterest Predicts please click here.

Related Tags

Social Media industry