I’ll admit it. When my house recently sold, I did a social media audit of the buyers. I found the wife’s Pinterest board. I could tell everything about her from the images she pinned. I could totally see why she liked my house, down to a small mosaic detail above my cooktop, because she pinned a very similar mosaic image on one of her boards. My home was like a blank slate for her interior design fantasies.
There is something remarkably gratifying about using Pinterest, and not just to stalk the people who will be living in my home.
Scrolling through hundreds of images and choosing those that move me for my own boards allows me to define and show off my aesthetic. When I get followers and repins, it makes me feel like I have good taste and raises my social capital.
The world of Pinterest has captured over 70 million users as of September 2013, and new statistics from Shareaholic show that the image sharing site drove more traffic to publishers than social sites Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit and Google+ combined. Facebook maintains the lead with over 10% of traffic driven to publishers, yet Pinterest is on the rise.
Shareaholic collects data from over 250 million monthly unique visitors derived from 200,000 publishers. It’s not just that Pinterest dwarfs nearly all the competition, but its growth eclipses even Facebook. According to Shareaholic, Facebook grew 58.81%, Pinterest 66.52% and Twitter 54.12% in the past month.
Meanwhile, old standards StumbleUpon and Reddit show declining referrals, and Google+ remains stagnant.
Globally, more men use the Internet than women. While 37 percent of all the world’s women are online, 41 percent of all men are online. By contrast, women rule Pinterest, and add up to fully 80 percent of users. Pinterest found its way into the hearts and minds of women when most other social media sites have not.
Pinterest offers the perfect mix of practical and fantasy. In the functional equivalent of leaning over to the next table at a restaurant and asking what they’re having, I browse food images, looking for the most tantalizing dessert. In many cases, however, items I repin to my Put it in Your Mouth board remain in the realm of ideas.
Pinterest has almost no barrier to entry. It’s easy to use, offers minimal cognitive load, and enables users to consume, create and share content with a click.
Interior design has also captured my Pinterest fancy. I’ve built my dream home a hundred times over. It’s got a pool.