Revealed: Why Pinterest isn’t So Popular with Men

Editor: This is the first in a series of articles about Pinterest and men. In this article, Oliver Newson looks at why Pinterest is less popular with guys.

When I logged onto Pinterest today, I was greeted with a bag, a scarf, cable knit blankets, pillows and a lovely landscape of Iceland on the first row of pins. Out of those five, only one appealed to me (and it’s not Iceland). Could this answer my query as to why 80% of Pinterest users are women?

Vicious Circle

Now, hear out this little theory of mine. Presumably, if the majority of Pinterest users are women, the majority of pins will be female-orientated. This doesn’t include the minority of women who pin photos of men’s fashion or sports cars. Before you say anything, like a recent Wall Street Journal blog post, I wrote that “at the risk of sounding sexist”. Put simply, if men do not sign up then men simply will not be tempted to sign up.

Shop Till You Drop

The same blog post continued to write that “women tend to like to shop more than men do”. This may be a generalisation, but perhaps men just don’t have any interest in the multitude of pins that link directly to boutique online stores.

Personalisation is Key

There is a chance that I’m being unfair here. After all, I am relatively new to the Pinterest scene and, as such, haven’t yet fully customised my user experience. However, having said that, I think that men should be able to use this website without spending a lot of time and effort tailoring the site to suit their tastes. I feel as if it’s much easier for a woman to approach the site for the first time and find things of interest.

Inside Track

Here’s an interesting reason why more men should join Pinterest. A post on MSN suggests that Pinterest is “essentially a guide telling men everywhere exactly what women want.” While that may be useful, what about what men want?

Photo by William Brawley

Are Pinterest’s Anti-Spam Measures Now Going Too Far?

Is Pinterest now penalising legitimate users in its fight against spam?

Heidi Kay, the VP of brand management and interactive content for PediaStaff, a staffing company, contacted us to tell us how she’d found herself unable to comment on her own pins. The reason? Pinterest had locked her out for making several comments in quick succession.

With 16,000 followers and 130 boards, Pinterest is the biggest driver of traffic to her company’s website.

Regaining Control

After trying to comment once a day for two weeks, there was still no change. In the past, Heidi found that resorting to contacting engineers from Pinterest was the only way to start commenting, and managing, again. Heidi says that what disappoints her most is the fact that no comment frequency or quantity limit is publicised and no warnings are given about an imminent block.

Solutions

Many people, including Heidi, believe that users who have created a board should have free rein over it. As she puts it, “it does seem rather odd that a brand would not be allowed to communicate with its followers to its heart’s content, on its own boards.” Perhaps there could even be different types of account, with a business account allowing spam control to be user-defined. This way a user could allow themself and selected individuals from their company to post unlimited comments.

Is Pinterest a True Social Network?

Heidi simply wants a platform on which to hold intelligent discussions. Is it simply the case that Pinterest is not about conversing? As it is, the Pinterest process involves posting pictures and receiving or contributing reactions. Because Pinterest is cracking down on spam in a major way, it has effectively limited its own capabilities as a social networking site.

What do you think about this issue? Have you experienced problems with Pinterest as it strives to eradicate spam? Let us know in the comments section below!

Photo by Kt Ann