Social Media Research

The 1 Big Difference Between How Men and Women Use Pinterest

Pinterest Users in America 2012

Men are from Mars, Women are from Pinterest

The Social Habit LogoIt’s probably not a revelation to tell you that Pinterest skews heavily female. 70% in fact, according to our most recent study at The Social Habit. But what’s more interesting is that men and women use Pinterest for vastly different reasons, and in starkly divergent ways.

The Social Habit is the comprehensive study of American social media users from Edison Research. (I’m a marketing and analysis partner, along with Jason Falls and Mark Schaefer). In the Fall 2012 version of the research, we asked a lot of questions about Pinterest –in particular, who is pinning, what kinds of products they pin, and (most importantly) why.

New Report: Pinterest Users in America 2012

The findings were so useful that we’ve packaged up a brand-new, Pinterest-only report called “Pinterest Users in America 2012” that has more that 30 data-rich charts and insights about Pinterest usage and what companies need to know. It’s just $99 and you can download it immediately here. And as always, if you purchase something from The Social Habit and don’t love it, I’ll personally refund your money.

As part of the report, we looked at all the different types of “stuff” people pin, and differences between what men and women pin. That’s too juicy to include here, but while I was analyzing the data I stumbled upon something really fascinating.

Women Use Pinterest as a Wish List…..Men Use Pinterest as a Shopping Cart

Take a look at the sample chart above from the “Pinterest Users in America 2012” report. You’ll see that we also asked WHY people pin, and have the data split by gender. Turns out, the gender difference is huge.

The number one reason women pin clothing and fashion is to get ideas.

The number one reason men pin clothing and fashion is that they are items they plan to buy.

As an example for this blog post, I pulled only the clothing/fashion data, but I can tell you that the pattern is the same for almost every single category of pins.

Women are using Pinterest in a far more aspirational and motivational way than are men, who are more likely to use Pinterest like a visual bookmarking tool. In fact, within clothes and fashion, men are twice as likely as women to say their number one reason for pinning is to showcase products they already own. Male usage of Pinterest (and I suspect other sites like Fancy, et al) is far more literal than it is for women.

I didn’t see this coming. Maybe I should have, but I didn’t. What implications does this have for brands? (and I’d love your support of this research).

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  1. Emily Drevets says

    Fascinating– enterprises with a primarily male audience finally have substantial reason to pay attention to pinterest. Is it possible that this demographic could be more lucrative in the long run?

  2. says

    Interesting data, but I’m not surprised. Men are much more tactical than women and very task focused. Now they’re using Pinterest to collect what they plan to buy. These public shopping carts can be of huge value to retailers, especially once Pinterest opens up their API.

  3. says

    As a man, I can only agree with the data from this article. While I can see that women are seeking for inspiration, ideas and using the boards for wish lists, on the other hand, I can see men pinning items that they literally plan to buy and not what they would like to wear or what “looks nice”.

  4. jeff gonzalez-beauty schools says

    I dont think this is entirely accurate. I appreciate that women may use it as a wishlist. However, I think they also use it as a medium of collaboration to share best practices in cooking, clothing, etc…. thoughts?

  5. says

    How were the subjects asked the question of how they use Pinterest? Was it open-ended? Or multiple choice?

    Because to me a ‘wishlist’ IS intention to buy…. and the difference may just be a question of wording. If something inspires – whether it be clothes or a couch or a hairstlye – that means we want it.

    Also have to consider that a lot of Pinterest is DIY. There, it is a intention to DO, not an intention to buy. Still a ‘conversion’, though right? And have to point out that I’m seeing a lot of Pinterest DIY-inspired products pop up at retailers for the lazy type (me). Chalkboard painted canisters, metallic/white/glittered holiday decor, etc.

    Danielle Hohmeier, Online Marketing Manager at Atomicdust

  6. Angi Beauheim says

    I use my Pinterest boards for three things: a wishlist to send people to when they want to buy me a Christmas present, to follow Dr. Who news – fandoms are all over this platform, and to bookmark articles I’ll need in the future but couldn’t remember if I read now.

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