Pinterest Pins Its Hopes On International Growth, Starts Out With Localizing ‘Pin It Forward’ Campaign To Drive More U.K. Posts

Posted: May 9, 2013 in Technology

Pinterest is ramping up its international strategy by
kicking off a localisation effort in the U.K. today,
tweaking the site so that it deliberately foregrounds
U.K. content to U.K. users and also adding a British
English language setting to make Brits feel more at
home. The U.K. is the first part in what appears to be a bigger strategy to target more usage, and more
users, outside of the U.S., with France likely to be the
next country to get the localizing treatment, according
to a spokeswoman.
“Pinterest does feel like it’s just getting started with its localisation efforts and with the
UK being the first international effort the team is
hoping to learn a lot from it, in order to inform how
they reach out to communities in other countries.
France is likely to be next but Pinterest is waiting to
finalise these details until after they’ve learned more from the UK,” the spokeswoman said. The company is not currently breaking out user
numbers, but according to one estimate Pinterest had
some 40 million users as of February this year. Back in February Pinterest raised $200 million in
Series D funding – with “international growth” pegged
as one of the growth-oriented initiatives that the
money would be used for. Last year it also picked up
a $100 billion investment from Japanese e-commerce
giant Rakuten – a further sign of its international ambitions. While in March this year, Pinterest rolled
out a design refresh, adding bigger pictures and more
discovery features worldwide. It also rolled out a web analytics product to make it
easier for businesses to track referrals and measure
what users are doing on the site. Today’s localisation
efforts reinforce that effort by encouraging greater
user engagement — and driving engagement is likely
to be key to helping the social network generate revenues some day. Here’s how the company explained the U.K.-specific
site changes in an email sent to TechCrunch: …more UK Pinners and pins will be suggested to UK
users on the site. Also, when a new person in the UK
joins Pinterest, they’ll now see other Pinners in the
UK. In addition, search results will feature more UK
content. Finally, Pinterest is making sure that people
in the UK can access the service in British English. We’re hoping this will lead to more British pinners
discovering things they love on Pinterest. In addition to these U.K.-specific site customisations,
the visual social network/content discovery site is
also kicking off a dedicated community event —
using the hashtag #PinitforwardUK – in a bid to raise
its local profile. The Pin It Forward UK initiative, which also kicks off
today, will be used to spread the word about the new,
U.K.-flavoured Pinterest. The company has recruited
30 bloggers to post Pinterest-related blogs over the
next 30 days to “celebrate their passion” — or rather
explain how to use Pinterest to post blogs and, through that, hopefully reel in more British eyeballs. Each day 10 or so bloggers will post about their
passion, describe how they express it on Pinterest,
and introduce the set of bloggers for the next day.
Long-time UK pinner, Will Taylor,
from Bright.Bazaar today started things off with a
guest post on the Pinterest Blog. Pinterest will be promoting Pin It Forward UK on its blog, social
channels (using #PinItForwardUK) and will also be
featuring the best boards as part of the Pinterest
Weekly emails. Pinterest said the U.K.-specific site customisations
are a “first step” in its effort to improve the experience
for U.K. users, and are the result of feedback it has
received from U.K. users. Bright.Bazaar’s Taylor’s introductory blog on the Pin
It Forward UK campaign explains that the site never
officially launched in the U.K. — rather it was
switched on globally and allowed to grow organically
— adding that the idea behind the campaign is
therefore to “make Pinterest feel more natural, welcoming and interesting to local audiences”.

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