Pinterest, the visual discover tool Ben Silbermann, Paul Sciarra and Evan Sharp in 2010, is looking towards India, a country of “long term importance”, for its next growth burst. The service now has a third of its users in the US, but is investing heavily on international growth with local teams in other geographies as well as local content in 32 languages, including Hindi.
“We help people find the stuff they love, but at scale,” says Matt Crystal, Head of International at Pinterest, where he leads international expansion efforts. In a telephonic interaction with Indianexpress.com, he said sign up from India have gone up by 150 per cent in the period between January and August this year.
“Localisation is the goal and we are working on connecting people to local content, brands, publishers. We are customising the category feeds to make content feel more local and relevant,” he said.
Crystal said they were very excited to see how Indian pinners and businesses are using the service in interesting ways. For instance, chef Sanjeev Kapoor uses it to showcase his recipes, while Yash Raj Films uses it to connect better with its fans. “It is still early days, but more and more businesses are beginning to understand the benefits of being on Pinterest through signing up for a business account,” he added. In many markets retailers and online sellers use the service to woo customers to products, thanks to price listings shown with the pins.
Unlike the US and UK where Pinterest is considered to have more female users, the service has equal interest among men and women in India. Fashion, travel and technology are big in India, says Crystal, adding that technology is not generally a top five category in other countries.
Like other web services around the world, Pinterest too has been witnessing a shift towards mobile, with 75 per cent of usage now coming from the smaller screen. This seems to be why the company has recently launched a messaging service around the 2 million odd pins that are sent every day on Pinterest. The service lets users reply to pins, reply with a ping and message multiple people.
“Messages makes it possible to have one-on-one or group conversations and respond with text, or a Pin of your own, which makes it easier to plan projects on Pinterest with the people in your life, and have conversations about those plans. For example,