When it first hit the scene, Pinterest quickly developed a rep for being a man-repelling wasteland of aspirational “I Do” boards and gaudy nail art.
Yes, there were legitimate reasons for guys to be afraid. But Pinterest is working diligently to become more inviting to both sexes — and it seems the platform might actually be succeeding.
While still far from closing the gender gap (more than 70 per cent of its 72.5 million U.S. users are female), Pinterest is slowly gaining more interest from the male demographic: according to MarketingLand, the number of men on the social platform jumped 73 per cent in 2014 — thanks in part to the platform’s strategic efforts to cater to them.
Indeed, Pinterest’s “manhunt” is officially on: this year, the company instituted more gender-neutral results and re-jigged its search engine to include new considerations, such as the user’s sex. This means when a man now searches for style inspiration on the platform, for example, he won’t necessarily have to wade through a sea of purses and high-heeled shoes (unless of course, he wants to).
Pinterest recently released stats about what men are seeking and pinning (aka marketing gold for companies in niche markets) and the top trending searches include tech, fishing, gadgets, apparel, luxury cars and camping.
Not surprisingly, these algorithm changes come after Pinterest introduced “promoted pins” (similar to promoted tweets) to better monetize its platform. After all, the more Pinterest can balance (and grow) its user base, the more brands will get on board to reach its members.
So is it working? Last fall, Pinterest claimed that men comprised one-third of new sign-ups and that their number of male active users doubled in the past year. In fact, they say that more men use Pinterest in the USA than read Sports Illustrated and GQ combined.
The numbers also show that many of these new “pinners” are from Canada, which is Pinterest’s second-largest market behind the U.S.
“The user base in Canada is 60-per-cent bigger than it was about 11 months ago and we’re growing really quickly,” said Matt Crystal, Pinterest’s head of international, in late 2014.
“In our more mature markets like the U.S. and in Canada we’re starting to see more and more men come to the realization that Pinterest is for them as well.”