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Piques her Pinterest

(Courtesy of Gustavo da Cunha Pimenta via Creative Commons license.)

Over Christmas break, my friend received a juicer as a gift. She promptly invited me (a fellow juice enthusiast) over to join her in making our very own concoction. But we had a small problem. We had no idea what kind of juice we wanted to make, let alone what ingredients we would need to create the juice.

(Courtesy of Gustavo da Cunha Pimenta via Creative Commons license.)
(Courtesy of Gustavo da Cunha Pimenta via Creative Commons license.)

We decided to turn to Pinterest—the visual digital platform organizer that “collects and organizes things you love.” Within seconds, we compiled a list of at least 10 recipes.

One out of four Internet-using women in the U.S. use Pinterest, according to data from the Pew Research Center. Most women users are between 18 and 49, white and college educated.

After surveying 70 Stanford female students, The Dish Daily found that a whopping 76 percent use the visual bookmarking site.

So, what makes college women want to join and use Pinterest? The survey helped to shed some light on the matter:

Organized personalized photo boards. Every user is able to maintain multiple digital boards of her very own. After combing through endless pictures on the Internet or on other people’s boards, Pinterest users can “pin” the photos they like to their appropriate boards. Boards range from fashion outfits to DIY crafts to vacation spots (and yes, even recipes!). Just imagine having multiple digital corkboards organized and filled with photos you enjoy and can refer to at any time. It’s all saved on the Internet and eliminates the fuss of clipping out pictures from magazines and piles of messy folders. Katy, a junior at Stanford, joined Pinterest her freshman year and has been addicted ever since: “It allows me to take the pictures I like and organize them the way I want to. I don’t view myself as a creative person but I’m very visual and Pinterest is great for helping me figure out outfits, new recipes to try, and even workouts I should try.”

Being able to share visual portfolios with friends. Pinterest is unique in that once you start maintaining your boards, you can share them with your “followers” and you can follow them as well. Emily, a junior at Stanford, joined Pinterest her freshman year and mostly follows her Facebook friends. She explains the social aspect of Pinterest: “I do not follow random people because I think that half the fun is seeing what your friends like and think is interesting, cool, pretty, trendy … with each repin, it is like you are building this story about yourself that you can share with your followers.”

A great resource. Beautiful photos provide great ideas and information to meet all of your needs. Whether you choose to follow the boards of your friends or boards of complete strangers, the boards are eye candy. No matter what your interests are, it’s easy to find Pinterest boards that catch your eye. Emily said: “My favorite thing about Pinterest is how you can search for anything that you want there and it makes everything look good and easy. Whether it is a do it yourself craft, a beautiful hairstyle or a four-layer cake, it all looks great.” Among the most popular boards are Style, Recipes, Travel and Wedding Dresses. For Emily, browsing food pins for recipes is what keeps her using the social bookmark site. Emily affirms, “It is unreal how many delicious things they have posted on there.”

Despite the popularity of Pinterest, 28 percent of the Stanford female students who use Pinterest—including Katy and Emily—admit they don’t use Pinterest daily as they do other social media outlets such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Pinterest lacks the ability to be personal and directly interact with each other. Katy said, “I think I use Facebook and Twitter more because they are more personal and I use them to keep in touch with family and friends.”

This post was originally published on thedishdaily.com before it was acquired by The Stanford Daily in summer 2014.

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