Pinterest, while not perfect, popular among women

Thursday , March 06, 2014 - 11:01 AM

Leslie Meredith

In terms of users, Pinterest is poised to surpass Twitter and has already buried Tumblr — and has done it largely without the help of men.

Women are five times more likely to use Pinterest as men, according to figures released by Pew Research from a December 2012 survey. In fact, 25 percent of women who use the Internet use Pinterest — that’s 36 million who pin and repin photos of whatever catches their fancy online.

But it’s not enough to know that women love Pinterest. Repinly, the first site to dedicate itself full-time to tracking Pinterest activity, offers some interesting facts about “pinners” and what they pin.

The top 10 pinners — all of whom are women — each have more than 5 million followers. The No. 1- ranked member, Joy Cho of Los Angeles, has close to 12 million followers.

The most popular category on Pinterest based on the number of pins is “Food and Drink,” which accounts for 11 percent of the more than 36 billion pins on the site. The most popular pin of all time is a recipe for garlicky cheese bread from Mandy Wakeman that made her husband drool, she noted in her comment — thousands of pinners agreed and repinned the photo more than 96,000 times. In second place is a photo showing “Rainbow Fruit Kebobs,” with colorful fruit arranged — you guessed it — to look like a rainbow.

The second most popular category is “DIY and Crafts,” which has about 10 percent of all pins. The all-time favorite pin shows how to create a piece of art by melting crayons with a hair dryer — and make yet another rainbow.

Most pinners (80 percent) repin a photo that has already been posted to the site. But the other 20 percent of pinners find their pictures on other sites. While the most popular place to find images is Google, it accounts for only 5 percent of pins. Etsy, the online shop for handcrafted items, ranks second at 2 percent and photos uploaded by pinners ranks a close third.

As engaging as Pinterest is for women (and a few men), there’s room for improvement.

The Pinterest team hasn’t been idle over the past year. Pinterest has added pages for businesses, mobile apps, secret boards, and it has a major redesign in the works. But what pinners want most isn’t included in the new design.

On behalf of ladies who pin, here’s what Pinterest could do to make its avid users happier.

Search your own pins

You can’t search your own pins, and that’s a problem. According to Repinly, popular pinners have each created around 35 boards and pinned 2,757 photos on average. Sifting through pins for that perfect chocolate chip cookie recipe that you pinned six months ago can take far too long.

Boards display only the last few pins added, so if you have a lot of pins, like Anilú Magloire’s “Home Love” board, ranked No. 1 on Repinly with more than 22,000 photos, good luck finding a specific pin.

Moving pins

Related to the searching function, you should be able to rearrange pins within a board. Pins are placed in chronological order, meaning the first photos pinned appear at the bottom of a board. While Pinterest lets you choose a photo to feature, and you can change these board cover photos at any time, you only have one option for changing the order of pins: delete and re-pin.


In an update last August, Pinterest added its own built-in browser to its iPad app, leaving iPhone and Android without the nifty feature. (On the desktop version, pinners add a “Pin it” button to their browsers so they can pin a photo from any website that hasn’t blocked the function.)

On an iPad, pinners type in a Web address, visit a site and can pin a photo using the “Pin it” button. If you’re using a smartphone, however, you have to take a screen shot with your phone and then pin from your camera roll. For those who pin, this is simply too much work.

Despite these shortcomings, Pinterest can be a source of inspiration and a good way to organize things like dinner menus. (I pin recipes for my weekly big Sunday dinner and keep my iPhone on the counter for quick reference — it beats stacks of Bon Appetit and a pile of cookbooks.)

Special note regarding last week’s column: For those who are concerned about Microsoft’s plan to roll all of its email users into Outlook, the company assures me that you can keep your .msn email addresses and your contacts will be transferred into your new email account. I made the transition without a problem. However, to be on the safe side, make a copy of your contacts in a separate document just in case there’s a glitch.

Ogden-based guides consumers by comparing products in the world of technology, including electronics, software and Web services. Have a question for TopTenREVIEWS? Email Leslie Meredith at

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