by Robert van Alstyne
- With a swiftly solidifying perception that Pinterest is a for-gals-only community (a recent survey found that 83% of users are women), numerous copycat services are springing up to meet the visual bookmarking needs of males (CNN.com, 22 June 2012).
- Boasting names like Manteresting, Gentlemint and Dudepins, the male-targeted Pinterest imitators are united by a decidedly masculine aesthetic in stark contrast to Pinterest’s pretty cursive fonts and gentle cream background. Site language also skews decidedly dude-centric: Rather than “pin” online objects, Manteresting users “nail it.”
- Unsurprisingly, these testosterone-fueled sites tend to boast lists with a far different focus than Pinterest’s. A quick perusal finds plenty of bikini-clad lady pics, but also product-oriented lists of a manlier bent (cars, gadgets and guns).
- While no single site has broken through to mainstream attention, positive signs of growth abound. Manteresting has grabbed more than 2 million page views since launching in February 2012.
WHAT THIS MEANS TO BUSINESS
- The picture-driven list-making services offered by Pinterest are not a gender specific activity, but they are a communal one. Even as gender roles evolve, most guys will remain cool on social media services that they perceive to be overtly feminine. This creates a self-fulfilling feedback loop as few male Pinterest users lead to few lists that males find compelling, which leads to few male users.
- Any Pinterest-oriented outreach effort by brands should keep the site’s gender imbalance in mind, and consider seeking out some of its male-minded copy cats if wanting to capture dudes’ attention.