Pinterest’s Product Problem: Where Are The Men?
Few companies have grown as fast as Pinterest in the world of social media – they clearly have a great product development strategy. Pinterest allows users to “pin” images they find online and share them with others. If we were product managers, I think we would be proud to have Pinterest as our product manager. But there are problems with Pinterest. It turned out that most of their users were women. Men don’t seem like they pin. How can this be fixed?
Let’s face the facts: Pinterest is a virtual scrapbooking site. Scrapbooking is where women gather together to share all the photos they have taken of their family and pets. In large binders with lots of embellishments and memorabilia, This activity is not popular with men. Pinterest statistics show this clearly: 71% of Pinterest visitors were females last month. This clearly shows that there is an imbalance.
Pinterest is doing exceptionally well. According to statistics, 42% of U.S. online women visit Pinterest. These same statistics show that only 13% of U.S. males visit the site. It is not clear why there is such a low number of male visitors to the site. Pinterest’s product managers want it to be a destination that people use to search for things. Their slogan is “We want to do for discovery what Google did with search.”
The Pinterest product managers speak with men about the site and discover that they have a perception that it is only for women. It was initially popularized by women who visited it, which led to more women coming to it. Men find it difficult to find the items they are looking for when they visit the site. They are also presented with many “women-friendly” results when searching the site.
How to get men to pin
While success is incredible, it won’t do you much good if your site doesn’t attract half the world’s population. The Pinterest product managers have a lot of work ahead of them. They will have to make it easier to find what interests them on Pinterest.
Product managers don’t need to worry about the most popular Pinterest topics, such as gardening, cooking, and travel. These are all gender-neutral. Instead, they should focus their energy and time on changing the results that users see when they search for something. For example, a male user searching for “recipe ideas” might be presented with more tacos and pizzas. A site must also consider the gender of a user searching for ideas for costumes before it presents its results.
Pinterest must get men to the site. They will also have to convince them that they can “pin” images and use the site. The Pinterest product managers will need to spend time promoting areas of the site that are most appealing to men, such as geek, motorcycles, and men’s fashion. This content will help to reduce the social stigma men might feel about visiting the site.
What Does All This Mean for You?
The good news is that Pinterest product managers have reviewed their job descriptions and realized that there is a problem. They are addressing this issue as the service expands to new countries. The result is that there is a much better balance between the genders in the new markets. They will still have to resolve the U.S. problem.
Men have trouble finding what they are looking for on the Pinterest site today. These issues, combined with the perception that Pinterest is only for women, are making it less popular among men. Pinterest product managers must change search results presented to male users to fix this problem. They must also work to improve the areas of the site that appeal to men.
Pinterest is a viral site. Their product managers have a lot of groundwork to use to reach more men in the U.S. They must take steps to make the site more gender-friendly and to improve the user experience for males who visit it. They must also create more men-friendly content.
You can do all of these things. Pinterest product managers need to make sure they take the time to complete all the tasks. They will know they have done their job when they can look at their usage statistics and see that there is a 50/50 gender split among their visitors.