Pinterest’s French Platform is a Breakthrough in Localisation

Pinterest has launched a localised French version of its platform, tailoring content specifically for users in France.

Finally, it looks as if a social media platform is doing its part in boosting brand localisation efforts and taking the initiative to engage its user base.

On Tuesday, June 11, Pinterest, the photo-sharing, social bookmarking platform, announced the launch of its hyper-localised French platform, programmed to specifically show content tailored for and relevant to users in France.

Localisation, generally-speaking, goes beyond just the translation process, taking culture, style and the all-round user experience into account.

And the French platform Pinterest unveiled yesterday might be a real gamer-changer in how companies localise their branding efforts over social media.

Beauty in the detail

What really works with Pinterest’s newest version is that French “pinners” who aren’t necessarily following this news won’t even realise what has happened. There’s been no change in the domain name, nor have any French flags or berets been incorporated into the logo.

All that’s changed is that users will have a greater exposure to content that’s relevant to them.

Announcing the launch, Pinterest wrote on their blog:

French pinners will see more local content in Search and category feeds, as well as links to more French domains and pins with descriptions in French. We hope today’s updates will help French pinners discover more relevant pins, and faster than ever before.

Brands on Pinterest

There isn’t much word on what these localisation efforts will mean for international brands – but it is a safe bet that it will have some form of effect. After all, recognising the strong marketing space that its platform occupies, Pinterest has already begun fostering strong partnerships with brands.

By launching its hyper-localised French version, and with many other versions expected to follow, we expect brand localisation on Pinterest to also become more streamlined in the process.

A new model for localisation

As mentioned, the beauty is in the subtlety. The same is true of localisation. Most brands seem to have realised that the old methods of localisation, namely creating a different page for every country or region, doesn’t really work. It’s harder maintain a consistent tone of voice, it can be confusing for audiences and, besides, what’s the point of being a global brand if you’re not giving fans access to a global community?

As a result, we’ve seen companies revert back to centralised, unique, brand profiles. This, however, also has its limits. Say you’re in the UK and you’re fan of a particular fizzy drinks manufacturer. You try to enroll in their latest competition, only to find that it is only open to audiences in the United States. Having a widespread audience but only appealing to a specific region defeats the point of being a global brand.

What Pinterest seems to be doing is taking the initiative to deliver localised branded content straight to the right users, as opposed to making them filter it out themselves. It will do this based on the content’s language, relevant keywords, etc.

Therefore, when a global retailer opens a branch in Paris, photos of the new shop will be on the pinboards of Parisian users.

The Pinterest platform in France has the potential to be a real pioneer in both localisation and digital marketing. Perhaps we’ll finally be able to put the “Centralised vs Localised Digital Marketing” discussion to rest with a streamlined combination of the two that directly engages with the relevant audiences.

About Today Translations

Today Translations is a London translation company, also specialising localisation, desktop publishing and interpreting services. We’ve translated and localised websites for a number of prestige brands and firms, including FCUK and the Saatchi Gallery.

If you’d like to find out more about our services, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at [email protected] or call us on +44 (0) 207 397 2770