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Debunking the top 3 myths about Pinterest

Because Pinterest is on everyone’s lips, there is a lot of misinformation floating around, so let’s set the record straight about the top three myths surrounding the visual bookmarking social network.

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Myth one: Pinterest is slowing down

There are some rumors out there that people are already losing interest in the visual bookmarking site, Pinterest.com, but it is not so black and white – it is part truth and part untruth. What is true is that the rate of growth is not what it was back in January, but the number of unique visitors to Pinterest in January 2012 was 2 million, which hit 4 million in March 20121. Pinterest is still growing, don’t listen to the hype that it is not. It has already lost the interest of the super early adoptive group that has to only use the latest, shiniest toy, but the rest of the world has flocked to Pinterest.

Myth two: Pinterest is for women

We have long written in frustration that men have been pushed away from Pinterest for several reasons. First, the site has a pink tint to it, and oozes appeal to women. Second, the first users who took to the site were women in the Midwest, so the content posted is often attractive to them, so at first glance, men open the site, see hair and nails and run without seeking out anyone with similar interests – just like Twitter began at the South by Southwest with only the geekiest of the geeky using the service, it did not remain a geek chic network, it went mainstream.

Third, and most importantly, bloggers continue to promote the stigma that Pinterest is for women – there are hundreds of posts on the topic, and infographics like this one that seeks to inspire men, but ropes them all into, “if all else fails, post hot chicks” category. Nice.

While it is true that in January, only 20 percent of all users were men, by March, that ratio increased to 28 percent1 – a rapid increase that cannot be ignored. The male population also depends on what country is focused on – in the UK, 56 percent of users are male, and the most popular topic is venture capital. So, the stigma is not permanent, and Pinterest is most certainly not just for women, regardless of the UI and what bloggers continue to perpetrate.

Myth three: Pinterest users are poor housewives

Although we’ve already addressed the gender issue, let’s address the income issue. It is a fact that Pinterest users have above average incomes, with 21 percent earning over $75k annually, and 29 percent bringing home between $50-75k1. Additionally, buyers referred from Pinterest are 10 percent more likely to buy something than visitors that arrived from other social networks1, which is a tremendous metric that simply cannot be overstated – that is a substantial amount of money.

The takeaway

The truth is that Pinterest, like any social network, is not fitted for every brand, it requires creativity and time, and it just doesn’t click for every person who gives it a try. Pinterest is still explosive in its growth, and users have money and are willing to spend it, be they the growing male population or the already enthusiastic female population.

Bonus: Pinterest humor

Also, because we like a good laugh as much as the next guy, here is one of our favorite Pinterest parodies:

Lastly, we welcome you to join us on Pinterest:

1 Tamba statistcs infographic

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30 Comments

30 Comments

  1. Coy Davidson

    April 30, 2012 at 2:21 am

    Good point Lani, the plethora of social media blogs and so called consultants are so desperate for content they will write anything but mostly what everyone else is writing, if they think it’s the hot subject and will drive traffic.

  2. Amy

    April 30, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Lovely article. 🙂

    Only one beef: “Join us on Pinterest,” yet no “pin it” button to share the article on Pinterest.

  3. Rob Cottingham

    April 30, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    Thanks for sharing my cartoon, Lani – and you’re absolutely right. Pinterest is no different from most other social platforms, in that sweeping generalizations about who is and isn’t using it are pretty much useless.

    And anyone who is thinking in those sweeping terms could stand to spend a little more time thinking about who their audience really is, and less on developing their “Pinterest strategy”.

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Social Media

Zillow launches real estate brokerage after eons of swearing they wouldn’t

(MEDIA) We’ve warned of this for years, the industry funded it, and Zillow Homes brokerage has launched, and there are serious questions at hand.

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zillow group

Zillow Homes was announced today, a Zillow licensed brokerage that will be fully operational in 2021 in Phoenix, Tucson, and Atlanta.

Whoa, big huge yawn-inducing shocker, y’all.

We’ve been warning for more than a decade that this was the end game, and the company blackballed us for our screams (and other criticisms, despite praise when merited here and there).

Blog posts were penned in fiery effigy calling naysayers like us stupid and paranoid.

Well color me unsurprised that the clarity of the gameplan was clear as day all along over here, and the paid talking heads sent out to astroturf, gaslight, and threaten us are now all quiet.

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Social Media

We watched The Social Dilemma – here are some social media tips that stuck with us

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Here are some takeaways from watching Netflix’s The Social Dilemma that helped me to eliminate some social media burnout.

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Neon social media like heart with a 0

Last weekend, I made the risky decision to watch The Social Dilemma on Netflix. I knew it was an important thing to watch, but the risk was that I also knew it would wig me out a bit. As much as I’m someone who is active “online,” the concept of social media overwhelms me almost more than it entertains (or enlightens) me.

The constant sharing of information, the accessibility to information, and the endless barrage of notifications are just a few of the ways social media can cause overwhelm. The documentary went in deeper than this surface-level content and got into the nitty gritty of how people behind the scenes use your data and track your usage.

Former employees of high-profile platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, and Pinterest gave their two cents on the dangers of social media from a technological standpoint. Basically, our data isn’t just being tracked to be passed along for newsletters and the like. But rather, humans are seen as products that are manipulated to buy and click all day every day in order to make others money and perpetuate information that has astronomical effects. (I’m not nearly as intelligent as these people, so watch the documentary to get the in-depth look at how all of this operates.)

One of the major elements that stuck with me was the end credits of The Social Dilemma where they asked interviewees about the ways they are working to eliminate social media overwhelm in their own lives. Some of these I’ve implemented myself and can attest to. Here’s a short list of things you can do to keep from burning out online.

  1. Turn off notifications – unless there are things you need to know about immediately (texts, emails, etc.) turn it off. Getting 100 individual notifications within an hour from those who liked your Instagram post will do nothing but burn you (and your battery) out.
  2. Know how to use these technologies to change the conversation and not perpetuate things like “fake news” and clickbait.
  3. Uninstall apps that are wasting your time. If you feel yourself wasting hours per week mindlessly scrolling through Facebook but not actually using it, consider deleting the app and only checking the site from a desktop or Internet browser.
  4. Research and consider using other search tools instead of Google (one interviewee mentioned that Qwant specifically does not collect/store your information the way Google does).
  5. Don’t perpetuate by watching recommended videos on YouTube, those are tailored to try and sway or sell you things. Pick your own content.
  6. Research the many extensions that remove these recommendations and help stop the collection of your data.

At the end of the day, just be mindful of how you’re using social media and what you’re sharing – not just about yourself, but the information you’re passing along from and to others. Do your part to make sure what you are sharing is accurate and useful in this conversation.

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WeChat ban blocked by California judge, but for how long?

(SOCIAL MEDIA) WeChat is protected by First Amendment concerns for now, but it’s unclear how long the app will remain as pressure mounts.

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WeChat app icon on an iPhone screen

WeChat barely avoided a US ban after a Californian judge stepped in to temporarily block President Trump’s executive order. Judge Laurel Beeler cited the effects of the ban on US-based WeChat users and how it threatened the First Amendment rights of those users.

“The plaintiffs’ evidence reflects that WeChat is effectively the only means of communication for many in the community, not only because China bans other apps, but also because Chinese speakers with limited English proficiency have no options other than WeChat,” Beeler wrote.

WeChat is a Chinese instant messaging and social media/mobile transaction app with over 1 billion active monthly users. The WeChat Alliance, a group of users who filed the lawsuit in August, pointed out that the ban unfairly targets Chinese-Americans as it’s the primary app used by the demographic to communicate with loved ones, engage in political discussions, and receive news.

The app, along with TikTok, has come under fire as a means for China to collect data on its users. U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has stated, “At the President’s direction, we have taken significant action to combat China’s malicious collection of American citizens’ personal data, while promoting our national values, democratic rules-based norms, and aggressive enforcement of U.S. laws and regulations.”

This example is yet another symptom of our ever-globalizing society where we are learning to navigate between connectivity and privacy. The plaintiffs also pointed out alternatives to an outright ban. One example cited was in Australia, where WeChat is now banned from government officials’ phones but not others.

Beeler has said that the range in alternatives to preserving national security affected her decision to strike down the ban. She also explained that in regards to dealing with national security, there is “scant little evidence that (the Commerce Department’s) effective ban of WeChat for all US users addresses those concerns.”

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