Improved Pinterest Guided Search Shows Gender-Specific Results
While Pinterest continues to be a popular social media site for women looking for design, recipe, and fashion inspiration, the company still struggles to attract more men into its fold. This gender imbalance has become so evident that The Wall Street Journal published an article on January 22, 2015, that chronicled Pinterest’s attempts to bring in more male users to its female-dominated site.
comScore estimates that of Pinterest’s 72.5 million total visitors in December 2014, 71% were women. Furthermore, a recent survey by Pew indicates that only 13% of online American men are using the site. These astonishing figures are largely due to the stigma that Pinterest is “a clubhouse for women,” according to The Wall Street Journal. [See Figure 1]
Apparently, Pinterest is making huge efforts to change that perception. “The male experience on Pinterest has been similar to visiting a women’s department store. Now Pinterest is trying to make it easier for them to find the men’s section,” noted Yoree Koh in The Wall Street Journal report.
On January 23, 2015, the social media site announced that it had implemented a significant change to its Guided Search settings. With the update, users can now be introduced to search results personalized to their interests and to their gender. For instance, if a female user types in “watches” in Search, the results will display timepieces designed for women. Men, on the other hand, will be redirected to results showing watches pinned by other male users. See Figure 2 below for gender-specific results.
The results will be based on the gender users have selected for their account upon signing up for the service. “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,” stated Pinterest Engineer, Pei Yin, in the official announcement.
The WSJ story reported that this strategy is part of Pinterest’s monetization plans. The company is currently implementing efforts to increase its revenue, which means that it has to persuade advertisers that the site can broaden its demographics. Just recently, Pinterest acquired ad targeting startup firm Kosei to help better understand user interaction after Pinterest decided to start selling ads, also known as “promoted pins”.
Will Pinterest’s new gender-specific search results boost the number of men using the site?
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