Pinterest is a social media platform that demonstrates the power of photo sharing, helping users connect through similar interests. If you are an avid “pinner”, you have seen the boards that users typically create on topics such as fashion, apartment decor, or tourism. Government agencies and nonprofits are seeing the potential for using Pinterest to create boards focusing on topics such as HIV/AIDS, safe sex, and health care reform.
What is Pinterest?
Pinterest fosters content sharing in a unique and visual way. Pinterest is similar to pinning photographs and other items on an corkboard. Content found anywhere on the web can be “pinned” to a virtual board. And the amount of boards you can create is endless!
Many users create boards to pin all of their favorite recipes from different food-related websites or to organize and share items they want for their birthday.
You can also browse boards created by others to discover new things and get inspiration, and follow other users’ boards, so that new content they pin can be seen on your own personal feed.
Who is using Pinterest?
The majority of Pinterest users are female and about half of those females are ages 25-44 . Also about 50% of Pinterest users have children . Pinterest receives approximately 1.36 million visitors every day, and the average amount of time spent on the site is 15.8 minutes.
How can Pinterest be used in the response to HIV?
Some government agencies and nonprofits are using Pinterest to raise awareness of important social and health issues, including HIV/AIDS. For example, POZ Magazine has a well-established presence on Pinterest and many of their boards share content relating to HIV/AIDS with research updates, infographics, and POZ Heros . Such boards can serve as a call to action or a means to inspire through stories of people living with HIV/AIDS and those who have been part of effort to address the epidemic.
The Federal government’s presence is growing on this platform. At the beginning of this month, the General Services Administration (GSA) announced that Pinterest was added to their Terms of Service. In addition, the White House has used Pinterest to share behind-the-scenes images and foster a connection with the public, using the platform to showcase images not available on whitehouse.gov. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Prevention Information Network (CDC NPIN) uses Pinterest to share content on hepatitis prevention, promote HIV/AIDS campaigns, encourage individuals to get tested, and broadcast important messages related to HIV. You can visit their Pinterest page to learn about campaigns such as Testing Makes Us Stronger and Let’s Stop HIV Together.
AIDS.gov sees potential in this platform because we want to meet people in the online spaces they are currently using. Pinterest will be another social media tool AIDS.gov can use to combat HIV/AIDS stigma, promote HIV testing, and share resources. Today, we are pleased to present our first board in observance of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. Check out AIDS.gov on Pinterest. We look forward to using an additional platform to present important information to our followers.