Young men are not a priority target for most e-marketers, but Leo and John Resig believe they have created a captive male audience that is eager to spend.
The two brothers recently founded Tapiture, a “Pinterest for males,” that has quietly attracted over 1.5 million unique visitors in just a couple of months.
Much like Pinterest, Tapiture allows users to browse through a mosaic of photos uploaded by other users and “tap” the ones they like (the equivalent of “pinning”). But whereas Pinterest’s homepage links to homemade makeup recipes and pictures of cupcakes, Tapiture’s homepage plays host to images depicting trending jokes, cultural icons, and scantily clad women.
“Guys are simple creatures,” Leo Resig says. “They like funny pictures, hot girls, and memes. As long as you can put that in front of a guy and satiate that need, then he comes back to it. And Pinterest has nothing that guys want.”
Tapiture hopes to make money by selling directly on their site from merchants targeting men. Resig calls it “an e-commerce site disguised as a content site.”
“We know it’s going to work as long as we curate the best products that guys want, and situate it within the content of male-oriented photos,” he says.
Four years ago, under their parent company Resignation Media, the Resig brothers cofounded sister site theChive, a photo-entertainment site that purports to be “home to the best funny, viral, and interesting photos from around the world.” According to their website, theChive now attracts over 750,000 visits per day, which Leo says is largely comprised of men aged 24-34.
Contrary to how e-commerce companies have historically treated this demographic, Leo and his brother believe their audience is willing to spend. “Guys are getting married later, they have more expendable income, they are not getting told what they can and can’t buy,” he says. “The fact that the market is shifting away from ladies and toward the guy consumer is something we’ve never seen before.”
According to data released by comScore, affluent males are now spending more online than women for the first time ever. Males outspend women by 20-30% per online transaction. Sale of men’s apparel was on track to grow 8.26% in the first half of 2012—the largest increase seen in this category in decades.
Eighty-four percent of affluent males shop for themselves, whereas women tend to shop for households. Over the last 10 years, median salaries for males have climbed, and men are marrying older, rendering their income disposable for longer.
On top of this, Resig cites the fact that 91% of affluent males are connected to the Internet daily, which means men are seeing and sharing more. Sixty percent of those connected males are socially active across platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Seventy percent of all affluent males research and buy products online; 37% specifically check social networks for comparison shopping.
To that end, Tapiture is tailored to leverage the trend of affluent, socially connected males with direct purchase intent.
“Guys have this natural-born instinct to show their friends something cool. It’s the classic ‘hey dude grab your beer come check this out,’” Resig says. “And as long as we keep giving our users interesting and mind-blowing photos and videos that they’ve never seen before, they’re going to keep saying ‘hey dude come check this out.’ And it goes from there.”
Granted, there are a handful of other “Pinterest for men” sites. “What sets us apart is our traffic is bigger,” he says. The Resigs not only operate theChive, but their Resignation Media includes four other properties all modeled after theChive, though with a different focus. TheThrottle, for example, focuses on the automotive world. Resignation Media’s other properties are theBrigade, theBerry, and theChivery. They say those assets will further help Tapiture attract a sizable male audience.
Because managing Resignation Media’s other sites takes so much time, the Resig brothers hired John Ellis to take the helm as CEO of Tapiture. Ellis spent his career in the online ad network business, previously serving as the COO of marketing network Webxu.
Over the next few months, Ellis says he will focus on building the e-commerce component of the company. While the Resig brothers believe the market data is promising, Tapiture is relying on Ellis’s industry experience to carefully ensure that a “Pinterest for men” can genuinely succeed as a business.
“Making this company succeed isn’t just about driving traffic,” Ellis says. “Obviously that’s part of it, but I want this to be a profitable company first and foremost.”
Tapiture is currently raising a round of seed funding.