No, it’s not an Onion headline. Pinterest really wants more men. According to reports, they’re changing their search to feature more “gender neutral” results. From the Wall Street Journal:
Some of the most popular topics on Pinterest, such as cooking, gardening and travel, interest both men and women. So the company says it has made subtle changes, such as serving up more tacos and pizzas alongside its popular baked goods and family meals when users are searching for recipe ideas; or showing a range of costumes on Halloween, from single women in the cities to Dads in the suburbs.
But why? According to Pew, 42 percent of American women polled in a recent study are on Pinterest. Who needs men? Advertisers aren’t satisfied with those gender breakdowns. With the new “promoted pin” ads, the network is missing out on some brand opportunities, but maybe it shouldn’t focus so much on the pitfalls of being “girly.” That doesn’t have to be a bad things. Girls buy stuff. Lots of stuff. And then they tell other people to buy it, too.
Over at MediaPost, Eric Sass agrees, although he breaks it down a little controversially:
Although I am going out on a limb here, I also think there is are important underlying differences in the ways men and women pursue their interests and hobbies. I know this may sound too simplistic or stereotypical, and I fully expect some criticism for saying it, but in my view women’s pursuits lend themselves more to static images, a la Pinterest, while men’s lend themselves more to video, like YouTube.
It may be simplistic, but anyone who’s ever watched a teenage boy gape at looping videos his cell phone knows he could be right. But it’s not worth the argument about what social media fits what gender best. The important thing is that their search feature is expanded. It’s not that there are too many cake recipes and ribbon tying tutorials (although there is a lot of that), it’s that there wasn’t anything for guys in the first place, really. Pinterest writes in a statement:
For example, say you’re looking for a new watch. Before when you searched Pinterest for “watches,” your results would include mostly women’s timepieces. But now, men will see Pins and guides inspired by what other guys have Pinned, and everybody’s results should feel a lot closer to what they’re looking for. Of course if you ever want results for another gender, like if you’re shopping for a gift for someone else, you can always use the guides to fine-tune your search.
The more the merrier, right? But don’t expect to see guys swiping through Pinterest anytime soon in public.