Pintrest Becomes First Major Social Networking Site Driven by Women

ByChristina Bartolozzi

What happens when you mix women’s gossip with social media? The next big internet site, called Pinterest.

“What am I making for dinner?" “What dress should I wear?” “How do I out-decorate my neighbors?” Suddenly, social media has provided a forum for women to brainstorm answers to these critical questions.

Pinterest, a platform for sharing pictures and videos, is one of the hottest internet sites today, and its growth is being driven primarily by young women.

Comprised of 58% female users, nearly 60% of whom are women between the ages of 25 and 44, Pinterest is capitalizing on a market which no other social media site has. In contrast, women make up just over 48% of users on Facebook. As social media sites continue to pop up, the popularity of Pinterest’s gender-specific niche features could help change the face of the industry.

Pinterest has exploded in popularity from 1.2 million users in August 2010 to over 4 million today. According to Experian Hitwise, a website measuring consumer behavior on the web,  Pinterest receives nearly 11 million visits a week, almost 40 times the number of visits it received during a single week six months earlier. The 4,000% increase has made Pinterest the 10th most visited social networking and forums site on the Internet.

Pinterst is an online pinning board by invite-only, similar to Google+. Users “pin” photos and videos of interest, and share and follow other users. But it is the contents of the website that set it apart from sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Pinterest caters to an until-now untapped and broad female user base which has a significant interest in crafts, home decorating, wedding planning, food, and home entertaining, along with fashion and beauty. Women tend to flock to topics like these, especially Suzy Homemaker-types.

Pins can include images of apparel, places of interest, food, arts and crafts, and home décor, to name a few. All of these visually feed creativity and inspiration in their users. The site mechanics are simple: See something you love, pin it, and repeat — it’s easy to start a collage of inspirational photos and share them on boards amongst your friends and followers. Brides-to-be for example, can now replace their heavy three ring binders overstuffed with magazine tear-outs of white dresses, table settings, and all things wedding and compile it on her pin board. 

Martha Stewart and Paula Deen, both prominent figures in lifestyle living, have Pinterest accounts — Deen with over 25,000 followers. It’s easy to see why both women are popular on Pinterest. Women aspire to craft up things like Stewart does, and to bake something delectable like Deen would. Pinterest has collections of everything imaginable for those women who are looking for the next great recipe, or Stewart-like crafts. Other mediums including television’s Food Network, HGTV, and WE TV all tap into and capture the female audience, and now with Pinterest, there is a website that mirrors the success of female-driven programming. 

There is something completely addicting about Pinterest. Whether it is “pinning” up images of a fantasy life, or finding ideas and inspirations that you can act on, Pinterest has been able to capture an audience. The creators of Pinterest have tapped into a person’s visual stimulation, which is in fact a great way to secure its target audience. Seventy-six percent of people claim to be visual learners, a data point which Pinterest can partly attribute their remarkable success to.  

Pinterest has been named in Time magazine’s top 50 Websites of 2011 in the social media category. Pinterest is proving to be the leader now in female social networking, a possible new type of niche- and gender-specific social networking.

Being an avid Pinterest user myself — along with my entire circle of friends — I can already see the impression that it has made on us. “Oh, did you see what I just pinned” or “I’m pinning that” is becoming the equivalent of the Facebook “like” amongst Pinterest users. Women are holding “Pinning Parties,” where groups get together and create something that someone has pinned on one of their boards.

It was only a matter of time, with the growing bubble of social media, that there would be a social network that captures a female audience. After already hitting many milestones in the social networking world,  Pinterest will definitely be something to talk about in 2012, and everyone knows that women love to talk.

Photo Credit: Pinterest