See that “Ladies Love Pinning” box?
Prediction: It won’t be long before Pinterest goes co-ed.
Remember when Facebook was mostly college students? No surprise since it originally required a “college.edu” email address to join, but today Facebook users are pretty evenly spread across 13 - 44 year old age groups - and even Boomer parents and grandparents are getting in on the action.
Pinterest didn’t start out quite as exclusive as Facebook, but it is an invite-only site that, like the blue giant, first took off in a narrow community. In Pinterest’s case, membership first sprouted among the almost entirely female followers of home and lifestyle blogs. It was a natural next step in their online engagement. Rather than just view a blogger’s favorite room, outfit or inspiring quote, they could now “pin” it as part of their own online identity - a stream of “pretty things.”
But the Pinterest platform isn’t uniquely female. It actually taps into some current trends that are far more universal:
- Talking in Pictures - Communication is becoming more visual everyday and, while we love our 140 characters, everyone from government to business is increasingly speaking in images.
- Master of Our Online Identity - We google ourselves (admit it, you do!). We tweak and rewrite our Facebook Timelines. We’re very cognizant of what the online world sees of us and Pinterest lets us attach our identities to our favorite opinion leaders through pinning and re-pinning.
- View and Then Do - We’re no longer passive viewers of information. We expect to interact with it and with a single click Pinterest gives us something to do with all of the images and handy tips we consume. We may read alone, but we pin in community with our online audience.
- Everyone A Creator - There is a big emphasis on “making things” right now. Part of this is the economic challenges of the last few years. We crave the security of self-sufficiency and pins that offer money-saving tips or do it yourself how-to’s tap into that desire. But we’ve also seen a democratization of art with the expansion of online media - everyone is a writer, everyone is a photographer. Pinterest is an easy venue for creation, even if all you are creating is a stream of collected images.
On the business side, look for digital-obsessed marketers to want to get in on Pinterest as part of a “leave no stone unturned” strategy. Pinterest provides an easy access point - an attractive image - and then brings the viewer directly to the originating site. (Click-through = win!) Watch for content to start to shift beyond “pretty things” as marketers include it in their digital portfolio and try to start driving visual conversation.
Lowe’s and The Gap are already pinning away. Perhaps someday we’ll see campaigns and causes working their pins into the bloodstream as well and tallying up re-pins to demonstrate momentum.
97 percent female audience? Not for long.
For more on how Pinterest is making money, check out the secret here.