Does Pintrest have a gender bias?

Story  by Kevin Gutman

The website Pinterest combines social networking and hobbies, like baking, cooking, dream weddings and fashion. Some have said Pinterest caters mostly to women because the content is female oriented.

As a man the search results can be baffling. Search the word “bars” and an endless supply of lemon bar recipes appear. The third result for “football” is little green cup cakes with footballs decorations on top. Search “Ultimate Fighting” and only nine results show up of which only one picture has to do with UFC.

Some people will charge sexism, saying the search results stereotype all men as sports loving drinkers while excluding women from such activities. Women can love sports like football and UFC while men can plan their dream weddings without being judged. However it’s still a reasonable assumption that men, generally speaking, prefer watching violent sports and women prefer planning dream weddings more so than males.

Anyone who would dispute these claims can go to a local sports bar during a UFC fight and see how the men outnumber the women. Conversely, ask anyone who has planned an actual wedding who had more input the bride or the groom.

Men’s and women’s opinion of Pinterest stays along gender lines in downtown Fargo.

What do the people of Fargo think of Pinterest? With a camera in tow, a random sampling of men and women in downtown were asked if they use, like, or even heard of Pinterest.

The results confirmed a perceived gender bias. All the women said they loved and used Pinterest. The men weren’t too wild about the site. Two of men had never heard Pinterest; one guy thought it wasn’t for him, while two other men could see why women like it but where indifferent about joining Pinterest.

Pinterest evolution requires more male users.

Should the men of America rise up and accuse Pinterest of sexism? Of course not, Pinterest gathers its contents from its users, if most of the users are women it figures the content will be female dominated. The only way to make Pinterest a more complete website is for men to join and post stuff about their interest and hobbies.

Facebook in its infancy was limited to college students and since evolved into the most popular social network in the world. Facebook is worth an estimated 8 billion dollars and counting. Pinterest was started only a few years ago and has plenty of room to grow.

Although not all evolutions are good for social networking sites, just ask Rupert Murdoch who bought MySpace for 580 million dollars in 2005 and recently sold the site for 35 million dollars, totaling a 545 million dollar loss in seven years.

It will be interesting to see if more men take to Pinterest it the future. Judging by one man reaction in the video the site already has a stigma attached to it. Oddly enough Pinterest was created by two men and the site is popular among males in the United Kingdom as they post about soccer.

The future of Pinterest remains undecided for now. It could be an internet sensation among all people or it could fade away like MySpace. Finding fresh content might be difficult in the long term. How many lemon bar recipes does one person need? If men want Pinterest to suit their hobbies then they must join and pin and content.

Why limit the results to downtown? Here is a quick poll about Pinterest and gender. It’s only two questions long and you only have to answer one.

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