Study: 1 in 5 online women are now using Pinterest

Faith Merino · September 13, 2012 · Short URL:

Pew study finds 12% of U.S. adults are now using Pinterest, but nearly 20% of women are on the site

(Corrected to reflect that one in five online women are on Pinterest.)

I’ve gotten hooked on Pinterest.  It’s the only way to keep track of all the stuff I want.  It makes it so easy to keep track of the cute baby clothes I want, and the home décor stuff I want, and the kitchen gadgets I want… I’ve become—pinfatuated.  I might need…a pintervention.

Women account for 80% of all household purchases, so this might be the reason why one in five online women are now on Pinterest, according to a report released Thursday by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.  Pew researchers polled more than 1,000 U.S. adults and found that 12% said they use Pinterest, and of those, the vast majority were women.  A full 19% of online women are now on Pinterest.  Nearly 80% of U.S. adults are online.

Given all the reasons why I love Pinterest, the photo-sharing site’s popularity with women is not surprising. 

“It is usually the case that people gravitate to services that match their interests and their needs. Some of the more popular subjects on Pinterest are likely to be especially interesting to women, such as food, fashion, interior decorating and design,” said Lee Rainie, Director of the Pew Internet & American Life Project, and co-author of the study. 

Indeed, in a recent study released by business intelligence firm RJ Metrics, more than 17% of all pinboards are categorized under Home.  More than 12% of pinboards are categorized under Arts and Crafts, followed by Style/Fashion (11.7%), Food (10.5%), and Inspiration/Education (9%).  Food is the fastest growing category on Pinterest and generates the most repins.

The survey found that Pinterest is most popular among women between the ages of 18 and 29, those with some college education, and those with an annual household income of $50,000—$75,000.  While 19% of women are using the site, just 5% of online men are on Pinterest.

The survey also found that women are more likely than men to post images that they’ve created themselves or found online.  Some 47% of women and 43% of men said they’ve shared photos they’ve created themselves online, while 40% of women and 31% of men said they’ve shared images they’ve found online.

So it sounds like Pinterest is a beehive of e-commerce, photo-sharing, and female social activity.

To put Pinterest’s user base into perspective, Pew researchers found that 66% of U.S. adults are on Facebook, 20% are on LinkedIn, and 16% are on Twitter.  Pinterest has surpassed Tumblr, which is used by 5% of U.S. adults.  Instagram has also developed a sizable user base, with 12% of all adults now using the mobile photo-sharing app.

On all the other social sites researchers studied, the breakdown between male and female users was fairly evenly divided, with slightly more men than women using Twitter and LinkedIn, while slightly more women than men use Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram.


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