Personalizing Pinterest’s new user experience abroad

Andrew Liu | Pinterest engineer, Discovery

Pinterest is a catalog of ideas people use to discover and do what they love. With more than half of Pinners using our app outside of the U.S., we’ve been making significant improvements to show people content that matches their unique tastes, no matter where they live or what language they speak. Before, when we talked to Pinners around the world, one common piece of feedback was that Pinterest felt foreign to them from the moment they signed up. In this post we’ll cover how we overhauled the new user experience for people outside the U.S., made it more personalized and increased new user activation and retention by 5–10 percent.

Revamping the new user experience

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Figure 1: Previous new user topic picker for men in Germany

Identifying local interests

Supporting content country by country

A simple way to find boards related to a given topic is by matching the topic’s name with a board’s title. Instead of using a strict title match, we used fuzzy matching with synonyms in order to increase the number of candidates. In our matching strategy, we ignored whitespace and non-alphabetical characters. For example, when matching “dogs” we also looked at similarly named boards like “dog”, “d o g s”, and “puppies!! ♥”.

Next, we ranked the candidates using a rich set of signals including Pinner engagement, board relevancy and recent board activity. To boost local content, we scored boards higher if they had a large number of Pins that were relevant to a Pinner’s language. After ranking, we further vetted the boards by sending them to our in-country teams to help ensure high relevance and quality.

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Figure 2: Overhauled new user topic picker for men in Germany

Impact

Next steps

Pinterest Engineering Blog

Inventive engineers building the first visual discovery…

Pinterest Engineering

Written by

https://medium.com/pinterest-engineering | Inventive engineers building the first visual discovery engine | https://careers.pinterest.com/

Pinterest Engineering Blog

Inventive engineers building the first visual discovery engine, 200 billion ideas and counting.

Pinterest Engineering

Written by

https://medium.com/pinterest-engineering | Inventive engineers building the first visual discovery engine | https://careers.pinterest.com/

Pinterest Engineering Blog

Inventive engineers building the first visual discovery engine, 200 billion ideas and counting.

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