Being a social media writer, sometimes I’m swept up by the motions of the various denizens of the web and washed onto a distant, unfamiliar shore. Such a thing happened yesterday, when I was summoned to start using Pinterest and see just what all the fuss was about. Here are 3 things I learned about the network after playing around.
1. The Woman’s Social Network
Pinterest seems to be the women’s social network at this point. When Facebook first started blowing up, I remember a very creative director at a large games company I used to work for asking at an Executive round table, “Will we see social networks split into niches?” It was a simple question, but the variety of opinions left me less sure about the destiny of social than I was walking in. And a few years later, with services like Tumblr and Pinterest lighting up the charts, it’s clear that niche networks are going to be around for a while.
So I repeat, Pinterest is the woman’s niche social network. I don’t particularly think it was designed as such, but reports have shown that 59% of users of the site are women. That said, those women seem to be having a lot of fun. My homepage is covered with women’s post about various topics from women’s style to women’s news to “thinspiration” images to motivate women to lose a questionable amount of weight. It seems like a network where women are allowed to connect about women-specific topics, at this point, and I’d urge any woman to head over there.
2. A Useful Layout
Pinterest is laid out like photos pinned up on a bulletin board, and it totally works. At a glance, I’m able to look at a person’s board and get a feel for what they like. The categorization is simple, so that I can create a board for each thing I like. It’s very easy to just jump around and see tons of images related to stuff you like, and since each image is automatically sourced, it’s easy to click back to the source material.
This sourcing is probably the wisest of Pinterest’s features, because people are able to simply grab an image from any site and the site is happy because it still links back to them.
3. Variety of Topics
There is a whole variety of content on the site. Take a look at my board below to see my art board that I created after just 15 minutes of searching. They are cool and unique images that were well organized. I can’t imagine another service that handles images so well, and in fact I tried to make a Tumblr that does what Pinterest does many times but it was never quite as simple, although it was close.