Analyst back-and-forth about Pinterest

by Parks Associates | Feb. 29, 2012

Written by Kurt Scherf, VP Principal Analyst, Parks Associates

I thought that you might enjoy the e-mail conversation that a few of us were having yesterday regarding Pinterest. At our all-analyst meeting yesterday, I brought it up, and happened across a good Washington Post article on it.

John Barrett, Director of Consumer Analytics

I still don’t get it… you just collect photos of things you like? What’s the driver for looking at the photos other people have collected?

Kurt Scherf, Vice President, Principal Analyst

It’s because you have a Y chromosome.

I think it skews heavily female in its use because it takes on features of Better Homes & Gardens, in allowing individuals to show off things that they think are interesting – recipes, clothing, vacation ideas, etc. There is certainly the opportunity for men to do this, but I think that it appeals to women because they’re sharing “cute” or lifestyle-oriented things that appeal to them. I’ll bet that Oprah Winfrey is a big advocate. I would think that the branding potential could be enormous.

Jennifer Kent, Research Analyst

A few guesses from inside this female’s mind:

  • The need/desire for approval from others on things we like --- same urge as going shopping with others rather than running in and out of a store for just the things we need
  • The ability to figure out really quickly what’s trendy/stylish/hot
  • The middle school-era drive to boost self esteem by passing judgment on others’ coolness

I’m not a member, but feeling that peer-pressure from other women I know!! We never truly escape middle school, I’m convinced of it ;)

Jennifer Kent

I think I’d need to think through some positive reasons to balance that list out. Re-reading my initial reasons, they make women seem 1) co-dependent, 2) materialistic, 3) insecure.

To redeem myself and my gender, here are some other thoughts. Pinterest:

  • Is a community through which we can support each others’ interests and deepen relationships through sharing
  • Express our identities as confident and unique individuals
  • ….that’s all I’ve got – let’s survey Pinterest users!

 

Masooma Sabir, Research Intern I think Pinterest is a good business idea, especially since social network is difficult to break into.

If you open your newsfeed on Facebook, it is crowded with people posting pictures they like, of their lives or funny/viral/news breaking videos.
The founders, I believe, took that and created a whole new way to share pictures. But then again, Google+ was/is a bust.

Kurt, you can pick what kinds of things you are interested in, and I believe only those will show up. So hopefully no clothes or makeup show up. :-)

Jennifer Kent

Masooma, I agree that it’s a good business idea and definitely think it could have staying power.

And to pick up on Kurt’s point about Better Homes & Gardens, it seems like it could be sued as a way for the average gal to, in essence, create mini-magazine spreads. So taking the example of the Oscars the other night, I could post pictures of my favorite celeb’s outfits – rather than buying a People magazine or US Weekly I could create and share my own gallery. I’d imagine it’ be much more satisfying then saying out loud to my husband “wow I love that dress on so and so” and then he responds “____” (i.e., doesn’t respond).  I can see how that would be compelling.

The only way I see guys getting into this is possible revolving around sports.



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