This explains why no men were using Pinterest

If you ever wondered why Pinterest took off with women and not men, we have our answer. Friday the company announced it had changed its search filtering options so that men could see results catered to their gender.

In the past, when searching for workouts or clothes their feed would fill with pins targeted to women. Since Pinterest’s early users were women, the application spread virally through that demographic. Naturally the most popular pins and pinners are, as a result, for women or by women.

That shut out men who might also find the technology useful but didn’t like the results they were served. Although some people who identify as men might appreciate a more feminine selection, not all would. Take a look at Pinterest’s screenshot on the difference in genders:

The difference in gender searching on Pinterest. Left: Men ; Right: Women

The difference in gender searching on Pinterest. Left: Men ; Right: Women

The new gender focus will appear as a toggle, allowing women and men to search for items of the opposite gender as well. That could be helpful for anyone with more androgynous taste, or it could serve well for gift shopping purposes.

The attempt to make Pinterest appealing to men comes from the company’s new head of brand, David Rubin, who formerly ran marketing for the ultra dude product Axe body spray. He was brought on in part to achieve that goal, and he started by commissioning Pinterest ad storylines to appeal to men and filling men’s home feeds with male products. Frankly I’m surprised it took the company this long to create gender specific search results — it has been around for over seven years, after all.

With the product announcement Pinterest also revealed new statistics, saying that its number of male signups have grown 73 percent year over year. It’s impressive numbers for the U.S. As we’ve covered, in some other countries, Pinterest has actually had a far easier time recruiting men to the application.

Since it’s a user-generated content site it’s demographics tend to build on themselves. The more women — or motorcycle fans, or cooks, or interior designers — are on the site, the more pin will be created that appeal to them.

To kickstart other groups Pinterest has to woo them with product shifts, and it’s doing just that.

Could MySpace make a mini comeback?

Today the question heard around the (tech) world: MySpace is still a thing?

The Wall Street Journal reported that MySpace’s user numbers are actually growing, years after it became the overlooked stepsister of the social media world. The site saw 575 percent growth in unique users in the last year. Of course, 525 percent of 0 is still 0, so to prove its thesis the WSJ cited a surprising statistic: MySpace still has 50 million monthly active users.

A #tbt shot from my MySpace

A #tbt shot from my MySpace

It looks like MySpace is making a mini comeback … kind of. There’s one caveat to the user data: A big chunk of the company’s monthly actives come on Thursdays due to the popularity of Throwback Thursday, the social media phenomenon where people post old pictures of themselves under the hashtag #tbt. Former Myspace fans crack open their childhood digital vault to find the goods. Members of the tech media probably did the same today after seeing the WSJ story. Proud to say I remembered my high school email ([email protected]….don’t ask) and password in one go.

#TBT to what MySpace looked like in 2006.

#TBT to what MySpace looked like in 2006.

MySpace’s resurgence can’t be entirely chalked up to the #tbt craze. Tim Vanderhook, the CEO of MySpace parent company Viant Inc., said that young people in the 17 to 25 age demographic are using it regularly. They watch enough videos on the site to make MySpace the 16th most popular online video provider according to Comscore. The social site started as a place for music and entertainment creators and fans to connect, so that still represents the bulk of the activity.

MySpace's new site focuses on delivering video and music.

MySpace’s new site focuses on delivering video and music.

Given that MySpace was once the queen bee of social, the company still has 1 billion users registered across the world, information that advertisers want to get their hands on. The company has partnered with undisclosed “online media companies” and advertisers to do some type of cross referencing of user information, to see whether online ads actually convert to sales.

It’s unlikely the company will ever near the heights of its former glory, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t reestablish itself as a tool for a particular sect of music-loving youth. From the sounds of it, Viant Inc. is eking every potential drop of profit it can. The believed-to-be-defunct service lives on; perhaps a shadow of its former self, but still very much alive.

MySpace Tom, who left the company long ago under NewsCorp’s failed reign, now spends his days traveling the world instagramming beautiful, albeit seemingly photoshopped, shots of cultural and natural landmarks. I’ve reached out to him to hear his thoughts on MySpace’s small resurgence, and I’ll update this if I hear back.

Has Snapchat peaked? Comscore numbers suggest flat growth in 2014

Snapchat’s user growth seems to have stalled toward the end of 2014, according to new Comscore numbers I obtained on Friday. As you can see from the below graph, Snapchat hit a peak around March 2014 and has slowly declined in unique visitors since then. I’ve reached out to Snapchat for comment and will update this if I hear back.

One caveat: Comscore only reports numbers from the 18 and over user group for legal reasons. Companies like Snapchat and Kik have big teen bases, so the Comscore numbers aren’t 100 percent representative. At the same time, given that Snapchat has saturated the teen audience at this point, the slow growth from the 18+ demographic is troubling.

The trend graph comes from a Comscore Mobile Metrix report that charts the number of monthly active users aged 18 and over in the United States. It looked at five messaging applications from October 2013 to October 2014 — Snapchat, Kik, WhatsApp, Line, and WeChat. It tracked “total unique app visitors,” but Comscore confirmed to me that’s the same as MAUs.

Comscore’s numbers are notoriously fickle and publishers frequently report more traffic than Comscore says they have, but in terms of overall growth trends the company is usually pretty accurate.

Comscore's Mobile Media Matrix 2015

Comscore’s Mobile Media Matrix (shows growth 2013-2014)

It’s not just Snapchat that has flatlined. Other messaging apps are seeing similar stagnation, with Kik hovering near the 15 to 16 million mark since April, WhatsApp at 7 million since March, and Line around 4 million since August. WeChat has been below 1 million since January.

So have we hit peak messaging app overload?

The Comscore graph also shows us where the most popular apps stack up against each other in the U.S. market. Snapchat is in the clear lead, despite flatlining. Kik is a not too distant second, which might surprise some. We also get a sense of WhatsApp’s American user base. The company hasn’t shared its U.S. metrics before, which led many to believe they were low.

But the fact that WhatsApp’s US monthly active users are this low — near Japanese-based Line — is new information.


This story has been updated since publishing to highlight the 18+ caveat higher in the post.

WhatsApp hits 700 million monthly active users

WhatsApp is one step closer to a billion regular users. The Facebook-owned chatting application released its latest metrics, and it has a whopping 700 monthly active users. That makes it far and away the world’s most popular chatting application, compared to the most recent figures — WeChat’s 438 million and Facebook Messenger’s 500 million. It also comes out ahead of most social applications, given Instagram just hit 300 million, Twitter is at 284 million, and Snapchat was reportedly at 100 million in August. The numbers come at a rather strange time, less than a day after Twitter and Medium co-founder Ev Williams wrote a scathing indictment of using such metrics to track a product’s impact.