Pinterest is growing fast. Said to have amassed over 10 million users in just as many months, Pinterest is turning out to be one of the hottest (if not the hottest) start-up, web apps of 2012. I’ve been on the site, and as someone who loves food, puppies, and witty quotes, I’ve spent inordinate amounts of time scrolling through the pins. It’s addictive. America’s hooked. And soon, I might be as well.
That is, I may be hooked on the site when I see more of myself there. After the second or third (or maybe 20th) visit, I realized how little cultural and ethnic diversity there was to be found. Most people just call it a females-interested-in-crafts website, but they forgot to mention that all of those females were Caucasian. Mothers and new brides and shoppers are all sharing ideas and trends that are targeted at other White Americans. None of the ideas are limited to this group of course, but if you take 5 minutes to scroll through the front of the site the odds of you finding a picture of anyone that’s non-white outside the cover of a book is slim.
This really first came to my attention as I was looking at hairstyles. I’m African-American. My hair is short when I leave it alone, but it’s currently in braids. I had seen nothing on the site suggesting styles or tips for my hair type, despite seeing pin after pin of someone curling, twisting, tying, and french braiding long hair. These are the only results I found when I looked up African-American hair.
But this obviously goes beyond hair. There are few distinctly ethnic recipes or designs. Although you can find out how to make popular ethnic foods like mango lassi or dumplings, they all seem like exotic treats. I would love to see other cultures make their own distinct mark with the service.
I don’t blame Pinterest for the fact that there seems to be relatively little racial and ethnic diversity. Pinterest is just a small reflection of the web. It is the first instance where women, who use social media more often than men anyways, have clearly outpaced men in adoption of a new service. But maybe it’s also the first time that its clear that Caucasian Americans also outpace everyone else on the web. Pinterest is a fascinating website, and very gracious of respecting all the websites where their users connect. I’ll continue perusing the pins, but I’ll see if things change before I request an invite.
- How Brands Are Using Pinterest – And What They Can Do Better (readwriteweb.com)
- Pinterest not a pirate anymore, helps site owners disable pins (momecentric.com)
- 8 Ways Pinterest Is Inspiring Projects (mashable.com)