Pinterest is today launching a new version of its mobile website, which the company says is “complete rewrite and redesign” aimed at better integrating the features found in Pinterest’s native mobile applications, like its more useful pins (those embedded with additional information) and related pins (personalized suggestions). The changes will bring the mobile web experience more on par with the Pinterest on the desktop and its native software running on smartphones and tablets.
Today, the company is seeing more than 75% of its usage come through mobile applications,* but, when asked, Pinterest declined to break down how much of that traffic comes from specific platforms, like iOS or Android. That stat doesn’t include mobile website usage yet, but when it does, the percentage will go up even more, Pinterest says.
Mobile has been a rapidly growing force for Pinterest. In 2013, mobile grew 50% from the beginning of the year to become more than three-fourths of all usage. On phone and tablet, mobile usage takes over the desktop in the evenings and on the weekends, in particular.
Pinterest’s mobile website redesign, launching today, now brings the site on par with its native app and desktop counterparts. The revamp involved a migration of the site to the latest web frameworks, for a “cleaner, more modular code” that’s easier to develop on. But it has another benefit, too, for the quickly iterating social network: it makes it easier for Pinterest to share code between desktop and mobile web, going forward, which means it will be quicker for its ongoing changes to reach all the service’s users at the same time.
Also important, a modern mobile site is key to Pinterest’s ongoing international expansion efforts, as the company understands that some users’ first visit to the service will be via a mobile browser, like the basic mobile browser option installed on some feature phones today. Last month, the company announced an expansion into Indonesia, and translation into Korean, for example. And late last year, it was localized into languages including Russian, Turkish, Czech, Slovak, Japanese, and several Nordic languages, too. The site is available in Spanish, French, Portuguese, Dutch, and German, as well as English.
In addition to the more useful pins and related pins now included on the new mobile site, the redesign also includes updates to existing features like the board page, sign-up flow, and it now displays recent boards in the board picker. In a blog post, Pinterest says the end result is that users can now browse and save pins on the mobile web just as they would on any other platform.
Notably, the new site was designed by an all-star engineering team, including Nadine Harik (a former Googler for 7 years), Tracy Chou (Quora’s second engineering hire), Jennifer Tsai (previously at LinkedIn and Gaia), and Ash Huang (previously at Twitter) – all who happen to be women. Chou, who is a voice within the “change the ratio” movement - an effort focused on encouraging more women to get into technology and new media – noted on her own blog last fall that Pinterest had 11 women out of 89 engineers, putting them at 12%, or the same percentage exiting from CS programs. It’s good to see, then, that Pinterest is making an effort to credit its women engineers for their efforts, as part of its larger hiring and diversity goals.
Pinterest notes also there are more changes ahead for its mobile user base, but didn’t hint at details today. Likely, these will involve porting more new features to mobile, including the new interest-based homepage, plus pins suggestions from site advertisers as the company’s ad platform launches more broadly this year.
* To be clear, an earlier draft of Pinterest blog post made it sound like 75%+ of customers use mobile apps, but a company rep clarified to us that, actually, “75% of all daily traffic comes from native mobile applications.” Pinterest’s published post no longer contains this reference, but other sites may still reference the stat incorrectly, if they were sent a draft version to reference.