The Spice Girls may have been all about “girl power” in the 90’s, but as far as social media goes, no single platform has ever shown the influential power of the female demographic as Pinterest has.
Now Pinterest is by no means a unique idea, as you can see in the graphic below. The social pinboard is a veritable homage to the social platforms that have come before it–one that has borrowed and blended together the best parts of popular social platforms in a smooth, aesthetically pleasing way.
So how did such a simple concept generate so much traffic and buzz? Pinterest is kicking virtual butt and many people find themselves asking, “What’s the big idea anyways?” There are countless blog posts and articles available that share traffic statistics, opinions and other musings on why Pinterest has gained popularity so quickly. However, very few of them talk about what is–in my opinion–the real answer behind the success of Pinterest.
The ladies love it.
Now I’ll include a disclaimer here by stating that I’m a female, and yes, I too love Pinterest. However, social media (being my job) is something I eat/sleep/love/live 24/7 so my opinion regarding social media platforms in general is slightly biased.
That being said, my sisters, female friends, aunts, and my mother are all in love with Pinterest. When I say “in love” I mean that they’re obsessed with it–completely smitten like a schoolgirl with a crush. They all get together and gab about their pins with an enthusiasm I’ve never seen a girl show toward something in the social digital spaces before. Many of them couldn’t care less about technology; certainly none of them could tell you what a web app or a bookmarklet was if they tried. Some of them barely even check their own email! But they all love Pinterest, and for the first time I have a common social media connection point with them, apart from Facebook.
To the broad audience of the social web, Pinterest has created something that no other social platform has created before, which is an online haven that’s inherently appealing to women. Pinterest successfully appeals to the emotional, psychological, and social needs of a demographic that few other sites are reaching properly, and that is the key to Pinterest’s astronomic success.
So why hasn’t this happened earlier? As a general trend, women engage more on most social sites, including Facebook and Twitter. According to Nielsen, Women are the majority of social networking users, spending 30% more time on sites than men and comprising 55% of all mobile social network usage.
I expect that social platforms will be taking notice of this and acting accordingly in the days ahead. Women tend to be much faster at adopting new social media, and in the clear example of Pinterest, are a force to be reckoned with in terms of setting trends on the social web. The Spice Girls would be pleased, indeed.