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Pinterest Take Steps to Bring More Male Users

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It's kind of funny to think that a social media platform might generally appeal more to women than it does to men. In fact it's actually pretty difficult to discuss without wading into the murky waters of gender representation, but there is real statistical evidence to suggest that Pinterest has a much wider female audience and there must be reason for that. 

Supposedly it's because of Pinterest's 'scrap-booking' format, but there's no way to say what the exact reasons are with absolute authority and any attempt to do that will just end up sounding reductive or even worse, sexist. That doesn't alter the reality of it though and Pinterest themselves have taken notice, and taken measures to increase the male-audience appeal of their platform.

To do this, Pinterest have started filtering their search results based on user gender. That means that if you're a man, you'll be less likely to run into pin-boards about the latest range of Louboutin heels if you search for 'shoes'. It's kind of a slippery slope, since there's no way of definitely saying what you will and will not be interested in solely based on your gender, but it's also worth bearing in mind that Pinterest remembers which boards you look for and interact with and if you're a man who is especially interested in Louboutin heels, you're going to be looking for them specifically.

If you ask me, Pinterest would benefit more from an 'interest cloud' system which allows you to tag all your interests when you create an account, like StumbleUpon, but that just isn't the way it's done anymore. Interest sites - and social media platforms especially - like you to think that they've figured out what you are are not interested in without any input from you other than just using the site. It's no more accurate than tagging your interests, it's just doing that without telling you, but it's the difference between a site which allows you to filter content and one which 'knows you'.

All that will really come out of this is that Pinterest's content will become more diverse. Pinterest has applications for basically any business, hobby or pass-time you can mention, all it takes is for one person to start one board to get the ball rolling. There's probably some wider argument about how to optimise sites like Pinterest for maximum appeal across genders, cultural backgrounds and everything else nestled in here somewhere, but the platform is growing so rapidly and the users have so much say over the spread of content that it's going to diversify anyway, regardless of designer momentum. 


Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Pinterest Take Steps to Bring More Male Users Reviewed by Callum Davies on Tuesday, June 23, 2015 Rating: 5

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