The Psychology of Pinterest Addiction
There was a recent infographic about why Pinterest is so popular – access it here (Why is Pinterest So Addictive? by Flowtown/Column Five). It’s a good infographic that has a lot of great points, but I think it focuses too much on the tool (Pinterest) and misses some of the underlying psychological reasons as to why Pinterest is so hot.
Here is my contrarian view of why people love Pinterest. I’m not a psychologist so this is not professional advice or guidance! Let me know what you think in the comments. Are you addicted to Pinterest?
1) We’re Digital Pack Rats
Do you love to collect things? Do you have piles of eBooks stashed away in folders? Do you like to grab all your favorite things and collect them in folders in our computer, bookmark folders, social bookmarking folders or on Pinterest boards? Yes, most of us like to collect and to store them in our little burrows. We’re digital pack rats.
2) We’re Obsessive-Compulsive
I suspect that each one of us has some obsessive-compulsive tendencies. Of course some people have major obsessive-compulsive tendencies and others might just have a bit. Pinterest is great for people who like to collect, organize and perfect their collection of boards.
3) We Have Addictive Tendencies
Similar to the above, I think that many of us have addictive tendencies. Whether is donuts, coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, sex, email, Facebook or….Pinterest. Perhaps Pinterest becomes a replacement addiction for something worse. Maybe that’s a good thing!
4) We Love Eye Candy
It’s clear that people love visuals. Especially striking, strange, funny or fantastic visuals.
5) We Love “Point and Click”
Pinterest is very, very easy to use. Once you get an invite and sign up, you can start adding boards and repinning immediately. According to one infographic I saw (see my Pinterest Articles Board for data), about 80% of the sharing on Pinterest is “re-pins”. So most people are re-pinning, not adding new content.
But even adding new content is easy. Just add the Pinterest “Pin It” button (get it here) to your browser and just browse the web and collect images or video and add to your collection!
6) We Love Being Seen As The Best Pack Rat
Just kidding. Many of us enjoying being seen as the best source of great content! A prolific content curator. Gaining followers, getting re-pins and supportive comments stimulates the “feel good” parts of our brains (maybe someone could fill in the actual technical term).
7) We Love Easy Discovery
If we had our ‘druthers’ we’d rather have good content float by right in front of our noses than to have to go and seek it out. Pinterest presents all the new content right before your eyes. What could be easier?
8) We Love Low Obligation Activities
Unlike Facebook, Twitter or Google+, Pinterest has very low expectations for things like adding comments, liking, giving credit (for good of for bad) or for following back. Pinterest doesn’t feel like a chore with a lot of social pressures (or am I wrong about this?).
That’s my take but I’m sure there’s more. I’d love your take on why Pinterest is so addictive in the comments!
Tom Treanor is the founder of the Right Mix Marketing blog. He’s the author of the Search Engine Boot Camp, the co-author of Online Business Productivity, and regularly speaks at industry and corporate events. His writing has been featured on the Content Marketing Institute, Social Media Examiner, Copyblogger and other leading industry blogs.