Image: Pinterest/ Courtesy
Business

Pinterest seeks to grow in Latin America with a new open position for country manager in the region

The social media company saw searches in Brazil grow by 95%, while in Mexico, this interaction increased as much as 93% YoY. LABS talked with Pinterest' head of growth operations for the region

With 367 million monthly users globally, Pinterest has conquered its own place as the inspiration platform for users seeking a wide range of ideas, from decor and fashion tips to positive messages. Lately, however, the platform has been going beyond pure inspiration to push this into shopping experiences.

“At the end of the day what we want is for these users to enter Pinterest, do something in their life. It can be cooking a recipe or redecorating their home, and that will involve buying things from a local retailer. Shopping is very native to the Pinterest experience,” says Mariana Sensini, Head of Growth Operations for Latin America.

The social media company has an open position for country manager in Latin America, and as it expands in the region, Pinterest says it is prioritizing more the creation of a local and personalized experience for users. According to the firm, the new manager role will help the company grow the team and support local creators and brands to succeed on the platform. 

Latin America has priority on the product development roadmap 

Mariana Sensini, Head of Growth Operations for Latin America at Pinterest.

Pinterest has 38 million monthly unique viewers in Brazil, 21 million in Mexico, and 8 million in Argentina, according to data from ComScore. The company says it has also been experiencing remarkable growth in Colombia and Chile.

“Latin America has priority on the product development roadmap,” says Sensini. The executive details that the video platform for creators first launched in the US, was made available in Brazil, and right after in Mexico and other Latin American countries. “There are a series of developments. The skin tone filters, we intend to launch very soon here in Latin America as well.”

Sensini explains that for now the company doesn’t have a set date to expand its monetization strategies to Latin America, but that is “a natural path for business launch.” Globally, Pinterest’s business model is based on selling advertising. These ads are currently available in more than twenty countries, including the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand as well as European markets such as the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and Spain. 

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In these markets where the company has a monetization model, retailers can access a self-service platform to upload their product feeds. Pinterest reads that feed and starts distributing shoppable experiences on Pins, boards, from search, and through new browsable recommendations for home decor, all based on each user’s behavior in the platform. 

Mariana Sensini, Head of Growth Operations for Latin America at Pinterest says that in the first moment of the pandemic, users were seeking content to adapt the external reality inside their homes. “After that, people started looking for positive references, to let go of all that stress,” she adds. Recently, the platform has seen the highest searches ever around mental wellness ideas including meditation (+44%), gratitude (+60%), and positivity (+42%) that jumped from February to May. Photo: Pinterest/ Courtesy

On Pinterest, e-commerce enters the user experience very natively

Mariana Sensini, Head of Growth Operations for Latin America at Pinterest.

Although still not available in the region, retailers from Latin America can offer a shopping experience to users by uploading their product feed on Pinterest and creating the so-called Product Pins. “We’re still going to launch the self-service platform [in Latin America], but by contacting our account manager, it is already possible for a retailer to send their feed and start distributing product pins to users,” she explains. According to Sensini, the adoption of such features among Latin American retailers has been great, mainly in fashion, decor, and beauty categories.

“We are still very much in the development phase. With features, many things are yet to be launched soon in Brazil,” the executive anticipates. “It still doesn’t have a date, but Pinterest as a shopping platform makes perfect sense.” Sensini tells me that 97% of top searches on the platform are unbranded, “meaning people are looking for generic terms and not specific brands, still in this moment of discovery. Thus, the brand can take part in that moment of inspiration.” 

Brazilian e-commerce Mobly, focused on selling furniture, was one of these retailers leveraging Pinterest interactions. “Product Pins have taken our account [on Pinterest] to another level, attracting 5x more enthusiasts for decoration to our website. Both e-commerce traffic and product sales were significantly boosted,” stated Leticia Arismendes, Marketing and Communications Manager at Mobly. 

In Mexico, the cream cheese brand Philadelphia has on the social media platform the source of 70% of its website traffic. “Pinterest has helped us inspire more and more users through our content and recipes, communicate the versatility of our product, and most importantly, create stronger connections with our community.”

Pinterest’s asset against the competition

As social media counterparts speed up the competition – hence Instagram Reels and Snapchat‘s new navigation format as a response to TikTok’s meteoric growth – Pinterest bets on its very own nature: inspiration.

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“Pinterest is that platform where we enter to have a more rewarding experience to perform in our life. It is not a social network, but a visual discovery platform,” ponders Pinterest’s Head of Growth Operations. “The whole focus of product development is more in this area. It is a discovery and inspiration tool.”

But while these platforms increase efforts to launch more – and seamless – shoppable features, on Pinterest, shopping doesn’t seem to be going anywhere without inspiration. “When we talk about expansion, it’s important that brand creators, publishers, retailers have a recent, inspiring content, so they can take part in that inspiration moment of users,” she explains.

According to data from the market research company GlobalWebIndex, Pinterest’s users are 20% more likely than the rest of the population to have mental and emotional wellbeing top of mind during the Covid-19 pandemic. “It’s a platform where you enter and leave happier, with ideas and willing to do things,” Sensini points out.