FRANCISCO ó Artist Tim Odell uses Pinterest to gather
images of classic Pontiac cars, U.S. Navy battleships
and medieval armor, which he recreates as a hobby.
isnít the typical user of the photo-collecting site.
about 71 percent of Pinterestís 76.6 million unique
visitors in April were women, data from the Internet
analytics company comScore showed. But Pinterest has
been beefing up efforts this year to attract more men to
the site, as it starts selling ads for the first time.
brands want to reach a large number of the
population," said Andrew Lipsman, comScoreís vice
president of marketing and insights. "If youíre
not reaching a mainstream audience across both segments
of the population and both gender groups, that might
limit the type of brands that are going to use your
popular social media companies such as Facebook and
Twitter that make most of their money through selling
ads have more of an even split between male and female
users. Pinterest began drawing women right from its
start, and early users were not only female but
middle-age and from the Midwest. That may have stemmed
from how the site was perceived.
early theory was that it was the digital version of
scrapbooking," Lipsman said. "Thatís
something that tends to skew female."
as more people browse through Pinterest to organize and
share images so they can plan their dream wedding,
remodel their homes, try a new recipe and more, the San
Francisco-based startup valued at $11 billion could
become an advertising powerhouse, analysts say.
website allows users to bookmark or "pin" an
image to a "board," allowing people to save
their collection of photos in different categories,
search for more images and follow other people with
similar interests. Clicking on an image easily directs
users back to the original source. There are more than
50 billion pins ó visual bookmarks ó saved by people
on more than 1 billion boards, according to Pinterest.
make its website more male friendly, Pinterest this year
started filtering search results on its website by
gender so men could avoid seeing, for example, a stream
of female footwear when they searched for shoes. On the
flip side, women can also steer clear of results for
men, avoiding a flood of male-oriented watches if theyíre
on the hunt for a timepiece.
who lives in the Bay Area, joined Pinterest last summer
after he stumbled upon the website for the first time
while searching for online images of medieval armor,
which he wants to recreate to look as historically
authentic as possible from each buckle to hinge.
didnít know what it was, but I found these images I
couldnít find anywhere else that people
collected," said Odell, who works as a texture
artist and 3-D modeler at the visual effects company
Industrial Light & Magic in San Francisco.
39-year-old then turned to his wife to learn more about
the site. Now from time to time, he spreads the word
about Pinterest to his guy friends.
donít realize thereís a lot of source
material," he said. "They see women posting in
it and thatís what they talk about."
comScore data showed that the percentage of U.S. men on
Pinterest didnít budge much in April compared to the
same month last year, the number of men on the website
increased along with the amount of time they spent
April, male Pinterest visitors in the United States
spent a total of 1.76 billion minutes on the website,
from 359 million minutes compared with the same month
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which declined to disclose its user numbers and split by
gender, said that men are its fastest growing group of
users and now make up a third of all signups. The
company said that it doubled the number of male users
worldwide in 2014 and the number of men signing up grew
86 percent in May compared to last year.
India, Korea and Japan, thereís an even split among
men and women who use the website.
Alfred Liousas, an analyst at Forrester Research who
covers businesses that market to consumers, said that
when Pinterest started to gain steam and people began to
realize the majority of the siteís users were women,
that "wasnít exactly a calling card for
is not resonating with men and itís probably more than
content," she said.
Liousas said the site might be too pretty for men.
aesthetics of the site, while beautiful, might not
strike the same chord with the male population,"
pastor Beau Coffron posts photos of creative lunches
shaped as Kermit the Frog, Charlie Brown and Kung Fu
Panda on a blog called lunchboxdad and heard about
Pinterest from friends about two years ago. It never
crossed his mind when he joined to promote his blog that
there would be a large number of women on the site,
though he quickly realized that was true.
now uses the site to find recipes, holiday ideas, Star
Wars gifts and parenting suggestions.
think (the perception) is starting to change," he
said. "More and more guys are taking a serious look
Pinterest is still a long way from striking a gender
it just takes time," Lipsman said.