Pinterest, a social bookmarking site where users collect and share photos of their favourite events, interests and hobbies, is bullish on India. Matt Crsytal, international head for Pinterest, tells Beryl Menezes about how India's cultural diversity makes it a key market for the company and how it plans to compete with Facebook. Excerpts from the interview:
How many users does Pinterest have in India? How important is India as a market for Pinterest in terms of subscribers?
We don't disclose statistics on our users; however, according to comScore, as of January 2014 Pinterest has more than 60 million monthly active desktop users globally. We want to be that service that helps people plan the things they'd like to do in the future regardless of location, language, interest or device. We think India has a rich culture around things like food, decor and travel, which makes it an ideal market for Pinterest.
What was the objective of launching Pinterest in Hindi?
Our goal in launching Pinterest in Hindi is to make it easier for 'Pinners' in India to discover the things they love. We've translated the site into over 25 languages in the last year because we know that language helps make discovery better. Pinterest is where you keep your wish lists, vacation plans, dream home ideas, and other things you want to do soon and in the future. So it's important that Pinterest is a service that is here to stay.
What is Pinterest's revenue generating model apart from digital advertising?
We're continuing experiments with promoting Pins this quarter. We're working with a small group of advertisers and we don't have more details to share at this time.
There were reports of Pinterest going for an IPO. Can you shed some light on that.
We don't have plans for it right now because we're focused on the core experience for Pinners and building an advertising programme.
How does Pinterest aim to differentiate in an extremely competitive marketplace like India?
Pinterest is fundamentally different than other sites. We're giving regular people the power and the tool to organise the world's information around their own interests. Every object on Pinterest has been collected by someone who thinks it's important. Most other social sites are about the past. It may be your past interactions with your friends, or the recent past with celebrities and news. Pinterest is one of the few, if not only, services that is about the future.